Dog Owner Feedback From Cytopoint® Users
Ron Hines DVM PhD
Let Me Know How Cytopoint® Works For Your Dog
What is your dog’s name?
What breed is your dog?
Is your dog a male or a female? Neutered or Intact?
How old is it?
Where do you live (just the city)?
Your initials if you wish?
How long has your dog been receiving Cytopoint?
How often does she/he require a Cytopoint Injection?
Was it on Apoquel® before that? Is it still?
If it had abnormal blood values on Apoquel, did they improve on Cytopoint? If you stopped Apoquel, because of skin tumors, did they shrink?
More infections, fewer infections or the same # on Cytopoint vs Apoquel?
What improvements have you noticed in its skin?
Any changes or side effects other than improvement in the pet’s skin?
Anything else you want other readers to know?
As you read the emails below, please remember that cause and effect are sometimes an illusion.. When things occur, one shortly after the other, we call them cause and effect when we believe the first event caused the second event to happen. If we feel that the two incidents were not related, we call the second event a mere coincidence. Cause and effect and mere coincidence can be very difficult for us to sort out. It’s only when they occur repeatedly in pets receiving a medication that we can be relatively certain that we are not dealing with a mere coincidence. Also, just because something occurred in one dog does not mean it will occur in your dog. RSH
Owner updates in green My comments in purple
September 29, 2022
Our dog Ranger, a 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier, has issues with licking his paws and ear infections every three to four months. He also is on a restricted hydrolyzed protein diet due to stomach sensitivity. Back in March of 2022, we took him to his veterinarian to have him checked out. The veterinarian examined his ears, cleaned them and treated him for ear infection and inflammation. The veterinarian suggested trying the Cytopoint injection for his allergies. Ranger got the injection and was okay with it. Six months later Ranger has issues with his ears again, same diagnosis, same treatment including the Cytopoint injection. As soon as we get him home, he starts vomiting. He vomits at least 4 or 5 times. The next morning his left eye is swollen shut. We have taken him to the vet two more times to get his eye treated for what may be causing the swelling. So far, nothing is helping. He was fine before the Cytopoint injection. So obviously, we will not be doing those again. Hopefully his eye will heal and he will be back to his same rambunctious self.
T.B., Chattanooga, Tennessee area
August 26, 2022
My dog, Brody, has had mushy, soft-serve ice cream like stools since he was 4 months old. He was tested for worms and treated even though the results were negative. All to no avail. He does have intermittent vomiting and his stomach gurgles a lot. He was started on Tylan and has been on it for almost 1.5 years. Brody also sees a GI specialist and the determination was made that the risks of steroids were too great to try since he was so young. This summer he began developing hives and sores on his skin. We started him on Zyrtec and skin wipes. 2 weeks ago, he had a Cytopoint injection for his skin and several days later, he began having formed stools
Your article is validating my observations. (that Cytopoint® can have a positive effect on dogs with inflammatory bowel disease)
Thanks, R.H. Houston, Texas Sent from my iPad
August 18, 2022
Our dog, Kip, is a Beagle/Boston. He is about 6 or 7 years old. Cytopoint didn’t work for my baby. He still scratches his ears to the point of whining, rubs his head/face on blankets & pillows because of the itch.
Sent from my iPhone
K. Central Illinois.
Well, we can cross out a pesky flea. Simparica Trio® is the best thing out there.
July 19, 2022
My standard poodle Stella who is 5 years old received her first shot of Cytopoint® this summer because of her seasonal allergies. It took around 48 hr for the itchiness to stop. Even her ear infection got better without treatment. However since her shot, around 7 days ago, Stella’s appetite and energy level are not the same. Both have decreased. I just wanted to let you know, for your information and stats.
G.C., Éducatrice canine et coach en comportement Gatineau, Québec Canada
Hello, you are welcome. She ate better this afternoon. She does look OK, it’s just she doesn’t have the same appetite as always or enthousiasme for training or playing. I told my vet, she said to keep an eye on her and keep monitoring Stella appetite and energy level. Today in Quebec is very hot too. Dogs are in the house, AC on full. If any changes I will let you know. G.C
July 18, 2022
A synopsis of two emails received from Sky Valley, California:
Their dog, Ryker, a 12-year-old neutered male, rescued French bulldog, had been receiving Cytopoint® injections every 6-10 weeks for the last 3 years for his severe skin allergies. For a time Ryker received Apoquel® and Cytopoint®, then only Cytopoint. Of the two, Cytopoint gave Ryker the most relief. His skin healed and he became a “happier dog”. However, after his last Cytopoint injection, a painless lump appeared alongside his spine just above his shoulders – at the same general point where he received the Cytopoint injection. Their veterinarian removed the mass and sent it out for a pathology report. The diagnosis came back as osteosarcoma. Her veterinarian then contacted Zoetis. Quoting directly from her second email: “ I never spoke directly to them. The vet and practice manager did. I know once they got the pathology on his tumor they covered all his veterinary care expenses and they had the vet ask us some follow up questions and that was kind of it.” A second surgery was performed but treatment was unsuccessful.
T.D., Sky Valley, California
July 18, 2022
Hi. I have a 123 lb GS that received a 160 mg of Cytopoint injection. His itching is much better but he is having diarrhea.
Thanks for letting me give input,
J. M., Baton Rouge Louisiana
July 28,2022 How is GS doing? Did his diarrhea clear up? ,Ron Yes sir within 1-2 days. Thanks for caring and asking. He seems fine now., J.M *************************
June 26, 2022
My 15-year-old dog, Buddy is a Chihuahua/terrier mix with multiple underlying health issues. He has cataracts, arthritis and an enlarged, elevated heart causing a tracheal cough and heart murmur. In January he was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor and pancreatitis flareup. One issue is that he frequently scratches his neck and throat area. The vet thought that he was scratching because of allergic dermatitis. I thought he was scratching his neck because of his irritated trachea. She was adamant about giving Cytopoint®. Said she would pay for it because she was so confident it would work. Less than 24 hrs after the injection, Buddy developed full-blown vestibular ataxia. He puts more weight on his left side than his right and he fell often for the first couple days. He still is unbalanced but nothing like the first couple days after the injection. He is still coughing and scratching his neck.
E.C., San Diego, California
I do not know if Buddy’s ataxia has anything to do with his Cytopoint shot. As Buddy’s owner said, he had a lot of complicated prior health issues. But a trip to the vet’s can cause a lot of anxiety and stress in an emotionally sensitive breed like a chihuahua just like it does in us. I just hope that he continues to get better. RSH
Jun 23, 2022
Our Frenchie, Pepper, got her first Cytopoint shot this morning at 0900 for scratching her chin. At 1700, this is how we found her. Facial swelling, a likely side effect. We gave her Benadryl, thankfully that took care of it this time.
T.C. *******email@example.com Sent from my iPhone
June 12, 2022
Our six-year-old shih tzu Pumpkin got her first Cytopoint® shot last March. She was born in Georgia came to Central New Jersey at 18 months. Pumpkin is very prone to hot spots. She was a bit lethargic the evening after her first shot. She got her second 20 mg Cytopoint shot on June 8. This time the next day her behavior totally changed. She didn’t want to eat. She is spitting out her treats. She was just not the same dog. No interest at all in her food which she loves and has been on since December 2021. Her diet is Hills canned food for sensitive stomachs and skin. My husband has tried walking her before each meal to try and get her hungry. We had been through so much with her and now since this injection it’s going backwards. She has such bad allergies and Apoquel® made her vomit. We are really at a loss what to do.
B.A., New Jersey
Although the average half-life of Cytopoint in a dog’s body is only 16 days, with repeated injections the amount in the dog will increase during the first 3 monthly injections. From then on it should remain fairly steady unless her immune system begins to recognize and destroy it. In those cases the drug would lose its effectiveness. So it is not surprising that Pumpkin reacted differently to her second shot than to her first. Zoetis suggests that dogs receive 0.9 mg/lb (2 mg/kg) of Cytopoint per injection. Pumpkin: 14 lbs x 0.9mg/lb= 12.6mg. Zoetis’ Interactive Dosing Guide suggests one 20 mg vial for Pumpkin every 4-8 weeks. Please check her weight again. Unless she has lost 4 pounds Zoetis still suggests she receive a 20 mg dose. But in one of Zoetis’ earlier studies, some dog’s itching decreased substantially when the dose was 0.23 mg/lb (0.5 mg/kg) or 0.06 mg/lb (0.125 mg/kg). (read here) You might consider that on her next injection if you decide she should get one.
June 10, 2022
Hi! My dog Qe has horrific diarrhea flare ups that only stopped once we began her on Cytopoint®. We had her on Apoquel® first for her itchy skin, but that didn’t help, so the doctor switched her to Cytopoint®. It also took care of the diarrhea. Now when it’s been too long since an injection she gets diarrhea. We don’t know how old Qe is because she came to us through the pound. But we personally believe she’s between 8-10. She’s a miniature pinscher, and surprisingly she’s purebred! After a Cytopoint injection she can go about 7 weeks before she starts itching and having diarrhea again.
T. B., Tennessee
April 24, 2022
First, I’d like to say that I believe any and all drugs have the possibility of adverse side effects. Most vets will be reluctant to agree that a particular drug caused a particular side effect in our pets. I had, at one time, 5 miniature schnauzers. My oldest had allergies and was always given steroid injections. My youngest boy was given a steroid injection for “pain” that couldn’t be defined. Within 10 days he had developed diabetes. Two months ago Elle started itching and breaking out in little blisters (I have since discovered this was caused from ant bites). She was given a Cytopoint injection. Much like many others reported, she became lethargic, and oddly staring at the floor. Her back legs began to shake. After a few weeks I realized she was blind in her left eye and the vision in the right eye is limited. She once could see a squirrel on the other side of the privacy fence at the far end of our backyard. A rabbit ran past her 2 weeks ago and she had no reaction at all. I know that cataract surgery patients can develop glaucoma and lose their sight again, but she had seen her Ophthalmologist 3 weeks prior to the injection and the pressure in both eyes was normal. I personally will not allow her to have another Cytopoint injection.
V. W. Kvwfirstname.lastname@example.org
April 22, 2022
Hello I have two female dogs. One of them, Princess, is an unspayed, 10-year-old Shih Tzu. I have been giving my Princess the Cytopoint injection for about over a year. She has gained some weight. She is always tired and now, won’t stop licking her paws and her eyes are watery. Mitzy is her daughter. She is 8 years old, not spayed and also has been on Cytopoint for over a year. Her side effects are that she is always tired, a little bit aggressive, gained weight and now she has a UTI infection. I have an appointment with the Veterinarian to see if she has stones
Grinilda R. , Northeastern New Jersey
March 23, 2022
Our Australian cattle dog, Leeloo, has been itchy most of her life. We started giving her Cytopoint® injections every few months. I did a lot of research but didn’t find any horror stories; if only I had dug deeper. The shots helped stop the itching. But I suspect they played a role in killing her. She had maybe five shots in the space of 18 months, starting when she was 10. Up until then, she was like a puppy, over the top in energy and full of mischief. After we started her on Cytopoint®, she began slowing down, which we attributed to aging, even though our previous cattle dog stayed vibrant until her death at 17. Then Leeloo began to have incidences of slipping or falling. We took her to a neurologist, who could find nothing wrong. Eventually she became blind – almost overnight. An MRI showed a glioma tumor in her brain, a horrible cancer. She died soon after. It’s my belief that the Cytopoint® either caused or made her tumor worse. A friend just told us about a dog who died recently of a malignant tumor that popped up on the Cytopoint® injection site. Nothing is quite as heartbreaking as giving you beloved pet a drug that eventually kills her. I feel sad every single day.
C. A. San Bernadino Mountains area, S. California
February 25, 2022
My Lhasa Apso, Daisy was always an itchy dog. But she was always in good health. She was 15 when she passed away. My vet recommended Cytopoint©. I gave it to her for 2 years out of desperation because of her itching. Not monthly, maybe every 90 days? At first it did work. She experienced lethargy after each shot. She developed mouth cancer. I believe the Cytopoint® depresses the immune system and can cause cancers to develop. I posted on a canine cancer Facebook page and asked how many on the site who had given either Cytopoint© or Apoquel® dogs developed cancer? I received many responses.. too many to count.…
R.M. 1405, Sent from my iPhone
January 30, 2022
Hello Dr Hines,
Thank you for this enlightening article. One of my two dogs, Cookie, received a Cytopoint injection two days ago to treat likely allergies, as paw licking and rear end licking etc. have both presented on a regular basis including resumption shortly after having had her anal glands expressed at the veterinary clinic. Being unfamiliar with Cytopoint I needed some understanding about how it works, side effects etc. and appreciate having found what I was looking for in your article. Our veterinarian advised that Cookie might feel a bit off for a day or so after the injection, which is the case. I’m attributing her slight lethargy yesterday, which has lessened today, and her inappetence today to the Cytopoint. If she’s not back to normal shortly I’ll follow up with our vet to make sure nothing else is going on. If there’s anything material to report regarding her Cytopoint experience, I will send a follow up email to you. Cookie is due for a second Cytopoint injection on February 28th.
Thank you again for all the insights.
P.F., Phoenix/Flagstaff, Arizona
2/08/2022 Cookie is back to her normal wonderful self. I’m only observing quick instances of rear end licking maybe once or twice daily, typically after she poops. No paw licking so far and no scratching. Her inappetence tapered off over four days, as did her slightly reduced energy level (evidenced by how readily she runs and plays). Cookie has a consistently hearty appetite.
December 22, 2021
Hello Dr Hines,
Thank you for your website and the feedback on Cytopoint® injections. Its helped me very much during the past couple nights as I worried and tried to understand what was happening in my dog after she received an injection of Cytopoint®. Junebug is a 13-month old spayed pug. She received a Cytopoint® injection last Monday after developing a hot spot sore on her neck. (She does not have a history yet of allergies or skin issues outside of this experience.) The thing I noticed first was an extreme behavioral change. This bright happy go lucky puppy has become extremely paranoid and skittish. She has a very fast unpredictable movement (different from before). When we put her down, the first thing she does is run for a corner, quickly sits and look around as if she is frightened. She won’t go outside to pee and poop on her own. I now have to put her on a leash to make her come with me. For the past 72 hrs she has either been sleeping in her bed or had to being carried in a blanket. She is very uncomfortable. Her eyes are glassy and she stares. This is not her usual behavior. The first 12 hours I suspected this behavior change was due to the trauma she experienced at the vets (they shaved and thoroughly cleaned her wound). But it has not subsided 72 hrs later and she is quite frankly a very differently behaving dog then before. This behavior change almost seems neurological? I have left a message for the vet to consult and at least let them know of this potential reaction. The thing is her itching was not that extreme to begin with. It was just this giant hot spot sore that developed almost overnight. I guess I will need to research or ask the vet about hot spot prevention, even when we are not noticing extreme itching behavior. I don’t think we will consider another Cytopoint® injection again.
LS – Seattle
December 20, 2021
I have an 11-year-old Yorkie. She received a Cytopoint® injection last Friday. She has had an itchy back and feet for months now. When I mentioned it to the vet he instantly recommended Cytopoint®. Unfortunately I did not know what it was and went off with his recommendation. That day she was a little lethargic, but nothing severe. That night she started licking her bottom. I really didn’t think much of it until I started noticing little spots of what I thought could be blood, I’m not really sure now if it’s blood or feces. It smells really bad so I’m assuming feces. She has such a red irritated bottom now that she won’t stop licking. I assume she is just trying to keep it clean. Do you know if this leaking is something we should be extremely worried about. After reading these accounts of others experiences with Cytopoint® I’m getting worried.
Cs, Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Dear Cs, I am sorry about your yorkie’s experience. I suggest that you call your veterinarian today and explain your concerns. Some vets are conscientious enough to have a look at the pet of a concerned dog owner they have recently treated or to have one of their experienced technicians have a quick look without an extra charge. Some are not. I really don’t know enough about your yorkie to tell you what might be going on. Yorkies are very emotional and even a trip to their vet can be enough to cause them to have diarrhea a short time later. If “bottom” means her butt, her anal sacs might be impacting due to a loose stool. That blackish or brownish material has a horrible smell. I would appreciate your getting back to me and letting me know if she feels better tomorrow or the day after as well as your veterinarian’s thoughts on what occurred. Best wishes, R.S.H.
December 9, 2021
Cody, our 14-year-old Corgi mix, received his first dose of Cytopoint® on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. That evening he exhibited liquefied feces. This has continued, with occasional episodes of more normal consistency fecal material. The vet was sure Cytopoint was not the issue, but it seems more than coincidental that it began the day of his injection, and has not subsided, with one or two exceptions. Cody seemed to still be itchy several days after the Cytopoint dose, so he was given 8 mg of Apoquel®, which appeared to exacerbate the abnormal fecal problem. Cody has had no changes in food, and no Apoquel for 72 hours, but is still exhibiting liquid feces. Presumably it will continue until the Cytopoint has left his system. So diarrhea does appear to be a side effect, and so far it is not occasional, but constant since the injection.
P. F., Portland, Oregon
November 3, 2021
Our 19-month-old Japanese Chin received his first Cytopoint® shot 6 days ago. Apoquel® didn’t work for him. He has had a couple of skin infections that required antibiotics. I have been bathing him in medicated shampoo 1-2 times per week and we are reviewing limited Ingredient foods. When we first brought him home, he had two small red bare spots (from scratching where his hind legs could reach when he was standing). Since he had the shot last week, he wakes up at night every 1-1.5 hours and shakes frantically and scratches the floor or carpet repeatedly. On several occasions since the shot, he has barked frantically along with the vigorous shaking and scratching. After the shaking, scratching, and crazy barking for 5-15 minutes, he settles down and falls asleep for another 1-1.5 hours. I noticed yesterday that he also wakes up from daytime naps and behaves similarly (but without the barking). These are new behaviors. Prior to this he hasn’t barked at night since he was a tiny puppy. Regarding the itching, we cannot tell that Cytopoint® has made any difference.
A. B., New Hampshire
October 21, 2021
Dear Doc, My 10-year-old lil man, Lincy, is a 25 lb dachshund terrier mix who develops hot spots for a couple weeks. Since this occurs once or twice a year, we monitor the itch and bring him in for some meds. We noticed the hot spot on his neck was getting worse so we decided to take him in. Lincy was given a 30 mg shot of Cytopoint® and cefpodoxime antibiotic to take home. It’s been 48 hours since his shot and he is not the same dog. He is frozen in place and walks a bit differently, very urgently and sits down quickly. He won’t come when called and whines a little more than usual. I don’t think he’s sleeping much either, kind of just staring off. He’s not normally rambunctious, but when food is present he comes running. He hasn’t lost his appetite, but won’t come when called for dinner. He drinks a lot of water and eats quickly but has no interest when I drop food, and that is bizarre! Should I bring him back in? I know the side affects are lethargy but he’s acting so bizarre and trembles now and then and then whimpers. Does a Cytopoint injection last this long with these side affects?
B.M., Napa, CA.
10-22-21 Yes, I think they should have a good look at him. Any conscientious veterinarian would want to see a patient that might have experienced a bad reaction to treatment that he/she performed. RSH
10-22-21 They wanted $200 more for an emergency exam, even though he was seen the day before!
October 21, 2021
Our 7-year-old yellow Lab has a long history of skin allergies, ear infections, hair loss, shedded dander an dandruff and sour odor. I the past he has been on antibiotic, ketoconazole, medicated shampoos, hypoallergenic diet and probiotics. The veterinarians began him on Apoquel along with cephalexin antibiotic and ketoconazole last September as well as a shot of Cytopoint early in October. They did a skin culture the middle of this month and found that he has a Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infection. They stopped the cephalexin because it is resistant to it and now we have him on rifampin twice a day for four weeks. He has lost weight and isn’t hungry.
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a difficult bacteria to treat because a large number of the cases are MRSA+, that mean resistant to most of the antibiotics that we veterinarian’s dispense. Keeping skin staphylococcus under control requires that your dog have a vibrant immune system. That can be an issue when drugs like Apoquel® and Cytopoint® are administered. ( read here )
September 28, 2021
Our dog Bugaboo is a fixed male Chihuahua/ Rat Terrier. He will be 12 this year. He’s always been a ‘no touch’ guy. It was like he was constantly trying to get out of his skin and it gets worse as the weather gets warmer. We tried all the home remedies first… olive oil soaks, oat flour baths, and so on. Then we tried baby shampoo, dog shampoo for sensitive skin, etc. Nothing was helping him and I’d catch him during the night chewing on his backside until he was exhausted. This went on for a couple years. We took him to the vet and they suggested Cytopoint®. It took a few days to really see a change in Bugaboo and it was like we had a whole different dog. He was still no touch. But he’s slowly allowed us to pet him and he still has times he doesn’t want to be touched. But all in all, it’s definitely changed his quality of life and we’re so happy with his results. Bugaboo received another Cytopoint shot in June and is set for a third one at the end of this month. We know when it’s time for another dose because he starts to return to that behavior of resenting being touched, rolling on his back to scratch and other uncomfortable postures we’ve come to watch for. He has had no side effects that we have noticed that would have us question giving him his next dose. We are so happy to have our little guy as happy and as comfortable as we can provide.
H.S.J., Indianapolis, IN
September 17, 2021
This note is to address my bad experience with Cytopoint® on my 9.5-yr-old German Shorthaired Pointer/Boxer mix. I took him to my vet to get his hyperactive itching under control and agreed to have the vet give him a Cytopoint® injection. Four days later he developed all these hard bumps under the skin. Two weeks later I was holding my dog and he had a heart attack. It wasn’t coincidence. The autopsy results showed he had cancer inside his body in multiple organs. It is our belief that the Cytopoint® injection lowered his immune response and the cancers became very aggressive and he was gone. Don’t get me wrong, he had cancer, but up until that point we were unaware of anything serious being wrong with him. Then bam, all the bumps, that he wasn’t bothered by one bit, within four days of the shot. The shot did something. To go from zero bumps to probably forty small/medium bumps all over his neck, body, legs is too coincidental. If I didn’t get the shot I’m sure my dog would still be here. Very sad day and I wish I didn’t get that shot for him. I don’t want anyone else to experience this expedited death because of this injection.
M. F., Sent from my iPhone
9-20-21 Dear M.F, Cytopoint is a drug that disables a particular “management molecule” that has important roles throughout your dog’s body. The molecule is called IL-31. It is what scientists call a “pleiotropic messenger” – a messenger with many functions. In some locations and situations IL-31 stimulates activity – in others it suppresses it. IL-31 in dogs stimulates itching – so in many dogs itching is relieved when IL-31 is suppressed. But there are many other important things that IL-31 does. One of them is to hold certain potentially malignant cells in check by limiting their blood supply. (read here) For instance, adequate levels of IL-31 were found to limit the growth of breast and colon cancers in mice. (read here & here) None of the data accumulated to gain US licensure of Cytopoint® examined what the drug’s long-term effect might be in older dogs. Or what the consequences of its long-term use in younger dogs might be. As the years go by, all of us including our pets develop cells in our bodies with DNA errors. Those errors can limit the cell’s ability to perform its chores, or they can give the cell an ability to multiply out of control. One of IL-31’s duties is that of a cellular policeman. So, there is a decision that all dog owners – not their veterinarians, need to make. Are your dog’s skin allergies serious enough to require the risks of a powerful medication? Or is its problem something that you and your dog can learn to manage in less powerful but better understood ways? Cancer and many other disease risks increase with age. (read here) The older your dog is, the greater those risks are likely to become. RSH
August 29, 2021
My miniature poodle, Leo, is 8 years old. When he was 7 he started having symptoms of IBD with loose mucous stools. His blood work also shows he is losing protein but still is in the safe range. Leo never had an issue prior and the only thing that is different is he started getting Cytopoint® injections about 3 months prior to the IBD symptoms beginning, which seems contradictory to what your article says. I had just started wintering in a warmer climate so he has itchy skin when in MN for summer and in NV for winter so he is getting injections every month or so now. He had his last Cytopoint® injection last Thursday and this time it didn’t relieve his itching as well as typical. I would do anything for him including making his food. He hates the Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein food and tries to sneak from my other poodle’s dish. Would like to find something for him to eat that he would enjoy.
R.J., Minneapolis, MN
August 22, 2021
My 12.5 y.o. female spayed Scottie, Izzy, had a Cytopoint® injection. I think this was her second one this year. Within a day she had her first seizure ever. 14 hours later she had a second one. Both were in the early evening and started during her sleep. The third one happened about 2 weeks later in late afternoon while she was awake and she started crying. I have to say that she is healthy and never had anything like this happen before. But since the last Cytopoint® injection she’s had 3 seizures close to each other.
K.P. Lancaster, SC
Dear KP, I was sorry to read about Izzy’s seizures. Seizure events that begin late in adulthood are usually due to an underlying brain health issue. So I do not know if the shot and the seizures were in any way related. Please let me know in a few weeks if these seizures stop occurring now that you no longer plan to use Cytopoint®. That would be the best way to tell if the two events were related. RSH
August 16, 2021
My dog is a 3-year-old blue nose pit bull terrier. She weighs about 65 lbs. She has extreme allergies and has been taking Apoquel® for the past few years. We had to keep increasing her dosage. That’s getting super expensive so I went to the vet to discuss allergy testing and they suggested to try Cytopoint® first….. If I had researched the drug prior I would have said no; but when you’re watching your dog scratch, all you want is for them to find some relief so I agreed. After the shot, she was still itching and licking her paws. I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable so I continued to give her the Apoquel®. Three days after the shot she started getting hives. I gave her an oatmeal bath and used an aloe Vera and water mixture for the conditioner trying to help with the hives. Her entire body is now covered in these hives and we are at day 6 after the Cytopoint® shot. I contacted my vet and they suggested Allegra. I’m very upset my beautiful dog looks like she has mange. She seems tired all the time. But she isn’t itching too much. I’m not sure if it was the shot or the pills but the hives are my main concern at this point. You’d think with how bad the hives are she would be itching? So maybe the shot is working but I have no idea.. I’ve included 3 photos one was taken 13 days ago and the other was today. As you can see there is a drastic change in her coat, I feel like bad pet owner for inflicting this on my pup without researching first. She will not be getting another Cytopoint® shot.
K. B. @gmail.com
August 14, 2021
I stumbled upon your site searching for the side effects of Cytopoint®. I tried everything to make my sweet Ellie feel better, including a raw diet and Chinese herbs. That worked in the winter, but as soon as spring arrived, she began itching again. My vet recommended Cytopoint®. She seemed to do well after her first shot; but she was staying at a boarding facility those first two weeks. When she did come home she has hid under the bed ever since. She had always had some fear issues. So I thought my leaving on vacation may have triggered something. But after the second shot, she started peeing on my balcony every morning rather than waiting for me to take her out. I thought it was odd, but I was just thankful it wasn’t in the house. Then, today, she bit my 2-year old daughter in the face. They had been good together for the past year. I feel so guilty that I did not pay a closer eye. But it also made me start questioning the side effects of the Cytopoint® injection and what it was doing to my sweet Ellie’s brain and body.
A.P. Indianapolis, IN
I am so sorry to read about you, your child and Ellie’s experience. I do not know what Cytopoint® does psychologically to dogs or if it played a part in what happened. Nobody does. No drug causes identical side effects. You read that on all human drug labels. What drugs often do is exacerbate pre-existing tendencies and underlying problems. Ellie is obviously a shy dog. Kennels can be very threatening places for emotionally sensitive dogs. Please do not feel guilty about that. There is no way that you could have anticipated what happened. Try to put it all in the past as best you can. If Cytopoint played any part at all in what happened I cannot say. But all of that drug’s effects tend to wear off with time. Please let me know how things go. RSH
August 11, 2021
Our 5-year-old mixed breed dog, Luna, has pretty significant seasonal allergies. She will scratch and rub at her eyes and face until she is bleeding, and lick and chew her feet. The first year this happened, my vet prescribed Apoquel®. The first time it worked tremendously. It completely stopped her itching and I didn’t notice any side effects. However, the next 2-3 seasons, when her allergies started, Apoquel® didn’t work as well. I’d give her the same dose, but she was still scratching and itchy. The vet told me to increase the dose. I did, and it still didn’t help tremendously. I never liked giving her Apoquel®. I read it is an immunosuppressant and can have a lot of gnarly side effects. But she only needed it for a couple months of the year so I figured it was the best option. At my vet appointment this year, they recommended Cytopoint®, claiming it was much better (more “natural” than Apoquel®, not an immunosuppressant, etc). She received the shot on July 30th. She weighed just over 40 pounds (41) so the vet gave her the higher dose. She was fine at first, but on August 3rd she developed lethargy and disinterest in food. The morning of August 3rd, she wouldn’t even get off the bed to come to eat. The disinterest in food was the most alarming thing, as my dog has NEVER, ever, turned down food. Even when she’d had diarrhea in the past, she always eats. When I took her outside that morning, she had bad diarrhea. I gave her some rice and chicken that night, which she ate fine. However, the next morning, she would not get off the bed again to eat. I finally got her up, and she refused both kibble and the rice and chicken. I took her outside and she had more bad diarrhea. I called my vet, who of course said that the side effects seemed to be too delayed, but from all the stories I’ve read on your site, I disagree. The only thing we can think that would be causing her extreme lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, would be the Cytopoint®. We will continue to monitor how long these symptoms last, but this has made us absolutely not want to give this shot again and we are really questioning its safety.
8-16-21 update: Tests for Addison’s Disease, pancreatitis, ulcers, tumors or eating foreign objects all came back negative. We’ve gone over and over in our head looking for anything that could have caused Luna’s reaction and the only thing out of her usual routine was the Cytopoint® injection. E.P.
July 19, 2021
My dog, Ginger is a 5 year old shorkie (shi tsu Yorkie mix). After receiving a shot of Cytopoint® she became lethargic… wouldn’t play, didn’t want to go outside for a walk (something she loves). Wouldn’t eat which I inferred to be nausea. The lethargy and disinterest in food lasted for 4 days and gradually passed. She never got any relief from her allergies. Her symptoms…eyes run reddish brown tears almost continually resulting on crusty accumulations in her facial hair. She chews on her paws. The itchy paws persisted as well as her tearing eyes. I am now using benadryl and might try Apoquel again. Apoquel worked somewhat last year but also caused some nausea. She has been licking her nose fairly consistently. We gave her Cerena, which seemed to help. She has not had allergy ‘testing but before the vet visits I had tried several elimination diets without improvement.
C.C., Lexington, South Carolina
July 5, 2021
Our 5-year-old Irish Glen terrier mix, Bohdi suffers from seasonal allergies. We have him on hydrolyzed Royal Canin™ food and we tried Apoquel® but we didn’t continue because it made him act strangely. He now gets 2-3 Cytopoint® shots a year. It seems to work great for his itching but he is totally lifeless the day after the shot. He will lie on the couch staring at nothing. He has developed back leg twitches that last for about 3 days after his shot. I hate giving him these shots, as I don’t know what they are really doing to him. But I don’t want him miserable either. A lot of the stories I’ve read on Cytopoint® scare the c**p out of me. But the most frustrating part is when I try and talk to the vets they say stop reading horror stories on the web, fever isn’t a side effect, the leg twitching they brush off, they say lethargy is normal with shots and the shot shouldn’t affect his appetite overall as it’s not a steroid.
T. D., Spring Hill, Tennessee
July 2, 2021
I was reading your blog about inflammatory bowel disease IBD. You said you would like to know if Cytopoint® failed to improve IBD symptoms. So I am sharing with you that I took my 10-year-old chocolate lab, Dakota, to the vet for a checkup, blood work, fecal exam and a Cytopoint® injection. She had vomited in the early hours about 3 times over the course of 6 weeks. She was diagnosed with giardia and returned to us without any treatment initially. About a week later, after the test results came back, she was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis. Dakota was placed on 30 mg of prednisone twice a day for 3 months along with several other supportive medications and she just kept getting sicker and sicker. We had to put her to sleep after a specialist told us there was nothing she could do to save Dakota because her IBD was uncontrolled even with aggressive therapy. In a Cytopoint® Experience and Questions Roundup paper, which was originally published in the May 2017 edition of Derm Dialogue, I read that Cytopoint® caused GI upsets severe enough to cause discontinuation in 2 out of 151 dogs. So it is possible that Cytopoint started my dog’s IBD and we weren’t able to get it under control.
S. F., Washougal, Washington
June 12, 2021
We have been using Cytopoint® for 3 summer seasons now for our 5-year old Lab/hound cross, Rosie. Rosie weighs 42 pounds and this year the vet gave her 40 + 10 mg this time. I think it is too much for her because she is lethargic. She hardly wants to play. What would you say about this scenario?
Dear VRG, In about 2017 Zoetis, the makers of Cytopoint® submitted the results of an approval study to the USDA/APHIS and the EMA in which they gave 12 dogs a 3.3 mg/kg (1.5 mg/lb) of Cytopoint® every month and another 12 dogs 10 mg/kg (4.5 mg/lb) every month for seven months. They reported no side effects at either dose. Rosie’s last injection was at 1.19 mg/lb of Cytopoint®. Zoetis’ dogs were probably purpose-bred laboratory beagles. Dogs, like people, vary in how they will react to drugs. So I cannot tell you if Cytopoint® had anything to do with her current problem. Let me know how things go. RSH
May 23, 2021
Hello Dr. Hines,
My 6-yr-old male neutered Staffordshire/Poodle, Buddy, has suspected IBD. But we never did intestinal biopsies to confirm it. He has always been a picky eater and had his first suspected IBD flare-up when he was 3. He’s been on prescription diets, metronidazole, etc. and still has a picky appetite. It has always been a struggle to get him to eat. He was given Cytopoint® in August 2020 for itching. His itch stopped but his appetite also improved immensely! He received Cytopoint® again in December 2020 for itching and again we saw his appetite improve. By April 2021, he still wasn’t itchy but he stopped eating entirely so we had an abdominal ultrasound and blood work performed. Nothing serious was found. They prescribed prednisone which got him eating again. He finished his 3-week course of Pred but a few weeks later he wouldn’t eat again. I do not want to keep my 6-year-old dog on prednisone long-term. I connect Cytopoint® to his increased appetite in the past. Have you gotten feedback from other pet owners on that? I am seriously considering giving Buddy Cytopoint® every 4 months as it seems to help with his IBD.
Kirsten, Sent from my iPhone
Dear Kirsten, No one has written that their dog ate more after receiving Cytopoint®. But one dog owner in Minnesota recently wrote that her adult dog went from 58 to 70 pounds in 10 weeks while taking Apoquel®, another Zoetis product. Her dog eventually reached 88 pounds at which time he is suspected to have rupturing his cruciate ligament.(read her email here)Drug “bullets” are not precise, but both Apoquel® and Cytopoint® take aim at IL-31, a compound the body produces that encourages inflammation and itching. The two drugs just do it in different ways. IL-31 is apparently over-produced in IBD too. (read here) So it is conceivable that Cytopoint® affects appetite and weight in some dogs. Sorry I will get technical here, but the IL-31 that both drugs reduce is one of the body’s JAK-state activation compounds. When you destroy the JAK3s in mice (knockout mice), they all get fat. Cytopoint® (lokivetmab) and Xeljanz® (tofacitinib) were developed together by Pfizer. People taking Xeljanz® also tend to become fatter -although that could be for a variety of reasons. (read here) In research aimed at understanding the causes of obesity and diabetes in humans, it has been repeatedly noted that the JAK-stat pathways that Cytopoint® affect are intimately involved in adiposity (“fatness”). (read here, here & here)
May 14, 2021
I have a 6-year-old neutered male Shiba Inu. Arnie weighs 23 lbs. He began itching after a short stay at the kennel. So I took him to the vet to check for fleas because of his constant itching and scratching. The vet advised me that he did not have fleas but had allergies. They gave him Cytopoint® and assured me that he would have no side effects. Arnie began acting strange the very next day. He is very clingy, always looking down at the floor, no appetite and sleeping a lot. This is far from his normal behavior of begging for treats or food, doing the “Shiba 500” all over the house, barking at the UPS guy and being very playful with his toys. It’s been 5 days and no improvement. I am just heartbroken for him and praying he will return to normal.
May 2, 2021
Our 7-year-old dog Spike is a mixed breed. He weighs 70 lbs. Two years ago Spike started itching really badly and smelled bad. We took him to our Vet and they ran a bunch of tests and decided that he had a yeast infection in his skin and ears. They treated him with antibiotics and gave him a Cytopoint® injection. There were no adverse effects and his itching improved. 1 month later the itching started again and the vet gave him another Cytopoint® injection. The itching stopped until the spring of 2020. So Spike got another Cytopoint® injection in June and another in July and had no itching until January 2021. So we took Spike in and the vet gave him another Cytopoint® injection. Within two hours his entire head swelled up. Then it spread down his neck and he started having difficulty breathing. We rushed him to our emergency animal hospital. They said that Spike was having an anaphylactic reaction to the Cytopoint® injection. He was given Benadryl and we were told to keep a close eye on him for the next 12 hrs and to continue giving Benadryl every 4 hrs as needed until his symptoms subsided. When I called my vet I was told that this happens sometimes after a dog receives Cytopoint® injections regularly. I was absolutely shocked that I wasn’t told this could happen. So now we’re dealing with the terrible itching again and have tried everything under the sun. Nothing gives him relief and our dog is miserable.
K.C. Southern California
March 23, 2021
Our dog Max is a rescue. The DNA test says he’s an Am Staffordshire x blood hound x Weimaraner x boxer. We live near the water and last September Max started scratching. Eventually 24/7. None of us could sleep. His skin still looked perfect. We bathed him with anti-fungal wash, even had a food sensitivity test run. Still scratching. Our vet gave Max a Cytopoint® shot. Within hours he stopped scratching. Life was back for him and we slept well. He swims almost daily in brackish water which I am sure irritates his skin. We think it is seasonal. Now its March and Max is scratching again. We are thinking of taking him in for another Cytopoint® shot. Max weighs 77 pounds. He has no signs of allergies other than the scratching and for him Cytopoint® worked great. I will update after the 2nd shot if we decide to have him get it.
K.K. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
I publish every email that dog owners sent to me. This one demonstrates how very difficult it is to know if one event is truly the result of another. It is only when multiple dog owners report similar experiences that a pattern emerges:
March 21, 2021
My dog’s name is Harley. She is a spayed American pit bull terrier almost 8 years old. She received her first Cytopoint® injection around 2/25/21. She has had seasonal skin issues her whole life. Prior she was on Atopica® and most recently Apoquel®. During a recent vet visit Cytopoint® was suggested. I decided to try it out. That day and the following, Harley did not itch at all. But shortly after standing up she became stiff, fell toward the ground and experienced a seizure. She has never had signs of epilepsy or ever had a seizure before. About 4 hrs later she’d experienced another one so we brought her to the emergency vet. She had a total of 8 seizures over the next 36 hrs. I have been researching like crazy and haven’t found anyone with a similar experience. The emergency vet could not determine what the initial cause was, but we believe that it correlates with the Cytopoint® injection. With that’s being said she has not been itching but is currently on anti-seizure meds as a precaution. So she is for the most part acting herself but the other medication affects her balance a bit so it is hard to say if is an effect of Cytopoint®. I will opt not to get this injection again.
L.S., Saylorsburg, PA
March 22, 2021
The emergency vet prescribed phenobarbital and zonisamide. They suggested 1 month seizure-free before weaning her off. At the 2 weeks recheck they mentioned 6 months. Personally we don’t agree to be on meds so long for something she most likely doesn’t have. As for the blood work they did not say that anything seemed abnormal. L.S.
February 6, 2021
My baby’s name is Liezl. She’s a German shepherd aged 10 (in June.). She didn’t have itchy, flaky skin for [most of] her life. I noticed a change two years ago, when she smelled like Fritos. I researched and found seborrhea and bacterial/fungal skin infections to be common. I tried everything. Dandruff shampoos, ones for bacterial and fungal problems, tried diet and environment like air and heat. I had given up. She got her first Cytopoint® shot about a year ago. Wow! It was two months before she needed another. I was then told not to get the shot every month. Not sure why, but I stopped doing it. Fear? Well, the word was yes, get one every month to build up [the] drug [level]. So for the past 4 months and one today, she has gotten [Cytopoint®]. One month it absolutely did not work, but [the] other three did work. She stays on antibiotics and anti fungals. I took her off slowly, and she didn’t itch. Then she started back. I don’t know what else to do. I used tar shampoo and medicated and regular people shampoo and just nothing works. So beautiful she’s Black and white and gray
Thank you, M.A.S.
February 7, 2021 Liezl is on two rounds, anti-fungal and antibiotic. She is itchy and tired, so yesterday another Cytopoint® shot. Tonight, I’ll wash her. The shampoos that you mentioned have all been used. I have so many topicals and sprays. She’s itchy today so I gave her a hydroxyzine. Those are mine, but it’s worth it for her to feel better. Last month she was so happy. Like a dopamine high. Just fun and no worries. Apoquel® made her very spaced out. Hence the reason we switched. I have spent more money on my fur babies than my children. It’s worth every penny. M.A.S.
January 2, 2021
My dog Harlow is a 3.5-year-old, spayed female Shar Pei. She weighs 45 pounds. Harlow received her first Cytopoint® shot in November 2020. She acted a bit strange for a few days after the shot but then back to her old self. A month later her allergies were back so a second shot of Cytopoint® was given. This time 2 days later she was hiding in a dark closet, Involuntary jerks in her legs , shivering and rubbing herself on the carpet. She only would eat if I poured the food on the floor by her hiding place. Her whole demeanor changed. It’s been 10 days since the second shot….. still not my girl, and the damn allergies are still bothering her…. I will NEVER let the vet give her another shot of Cytopoint®. Before she would get a Kenalog shot and be good for the season. I feel there needs to be a lot more research on Cytopoint®. I only hope she will return to her happy self as the Cytopoint® leaves her system. Think twice before you let your vet give your fur baby a shot of Cytopoint®
M.B., Nevada Sent from my iPad
February 1, 2021, It’s been just a little over a month since Harlow receive the Cytopoint® shot. She is better, but still not back to the way she was. The involuntary jerks and shivering have stopped completely, but she doesn’t play and she is back to the anxiety chewing of her toys. There really needs to be more research and this product. MB
December 16, 2002
My boxer, Sassy is 12 yrs old. She received prednisone on and off since she was 1 due to her allergies. At 7 she was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Since then she has received prednisone on a regular basis. We were concerned about the long-term use of steroids and wanted to give her less. When Sassy was 10, our vet suggested we wean her off of the prednisone and give her Apoquel® instead. Apoquel® controlled her anemia. However her allergies still caused all-year itching. Last September she was very itchy, developed an ear infection and had lost quite a bit of weight. So we took her in for antibiotics and fungal medications. The vet also suggest we give her a shot of Cytopoint®. Within 6 hours of the injection her itching stopped. Six weeks later the itching and yeast infection was back and our vet gave her another injection of Cytopoint®. That seemed to make her itching worse. We wanted to go back to Apoquel®. But our vet said the Cytopoint® would take the place of Apoquel®. We would need to bring her for her shot every 30 days. Since it had been almost a month, the vet gave her another Cytopoint® shot. She was OK that day and the next. But the third day she was lethargic, shaking and had no appetite. At this point she had been off the Apoquel® for a week. I called the vet’s office and they told me to put Sassy back on Apoquel®. They don’t stock it so it’s to be delivered today. While I think the Cytopoint® injection may be good for some dogs, I think some dogs should use it sparingly, as I believe there are side effects to this drug that are not being explained and it’s being touted as the perfect, anti-side effect allergy-control drug. But all dogs are different, like humans, and can respond differently. Many things can factor in such as prior health concerns. Hopefully, with the arrival of the Apoquel® today, getting her back on her regular dose, I hope to see improvement in her within 48 hours, otherwise I’ve probably killed my dog based on the love affair between Cytopoint® and veterinarians.
Dear Ms. S., It is rare that people share with me such a complex and sad problem. Just the fact that Sassy has hemolytic anemia (and is a boxer to boot) has lived to the age of 12 is a miracle. It is a tribute to your loving care and your in-depth research into her problems. I do not know the details of her case and the Texas Veterinary Board would punish me severely if I became involved in the decisions that you must make. But I think that you are correct in that all dogs with complex, poorly understood immune system issues like Sassy are high risk patients when it comes to giving them drugs that modulate their immune system such as Cytopoint® and Apoquel®. That is because the immune system is highly complex, imperfectly understood and the side effects of these medications are so unpredictable. I tend to rely more on human research studies than veterinary studies. That is because considerably more resources, money and intellect are devoted to human medicine than to veterinary medicine. If you read the 2017 pdf from the Mayo Clinic immunology group that I attached to this email, you will see that prednisone is still the front-line drug for treating IMHA in humans. The fallback human drug of choice is rituximab. It is not similar to Apoquel® or Cytopoint® in its actions other than that all three disable portions of the immune system. Elderly dogs generally have several concurrent health issues. Many times those issues interact in unpredictable ways. There is also no guarantee that what worked for Sassy in the past will work for her now. There is also no guarantee that Sassy’s present lack of appetite, lethargy and GI problems have anything to do with the Apoquel® or the Cytopoint® she received. R.S.H.
December 6, 2020
Our dog Sassy is an 11-year-old female neutered golden retriever. She was taking Apoquel® for itching. It was not helping anymore and she had her first Cytopoint® injection on November 5. After the injection there was a complete change in her happy healthy bouncy personality. Lethargic and complete difference in behavior. She is still eating and drinking but her happy self is gone. No more playing. Does not wake me up in the morning for food. Not happy. Back to the vet. No problems in bloodwork or fever. I hope she can come back from this. On the day she had her shot, she was happy and healthy doing zoomies around the yard. Begging. Playing with her purse and the ball. Inhaling her food. Followed me everywhere. The next day all that behavior and more was gone. The vet blames it on arthritis. Gave her carpofen. I am scared to death to give her any more meds. I gave her one yesterday. Nothing neurological was found.
L.S., Dallas Texas
December 7, 2020 My vet told me, Cytopoint® is a “biologic” with “no side effects”. They wanted to set her up for multiple shots. Because she was so uncomfortable with her itching I just wanted to help her. Thought like a steroid shot might help. L.S. December 16, 2020 Based on “snowflake” patterns in her lung x-rays, my vet now believes that Sassy has developed either lung lymphoma cancer or a fungus lung infection. They do not hold out much hope for her survival.
December 24, 2020 Sassy passed away. The diagnosis was disseminated hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels.
November 24, 2020
My 7 yr old golden retriever, BeBe, had a Cytopoint® injection for scratching and hot spots. She is a neutered female and in good health otherwise. She was an active happy girl. After the shot she experienced significant increases in itching and scratching – worse than before. A couple of days later, she began throwing up. I called my vet. My dog needed hydration and a corticosteroid shot. Nothing has returned to baseline as she continues to have GI issues with diarrhea. She has been on a bland diet. I am deeply concerned regarding this drug and it’s side effects and would hope this drug is removed and no longer offered to our pets.
L.R., Bluefield WV
November 25, 2020: My vet doesn’t think this is a reaction to Cytopoint®. She feels that if there was going to be a reaction it would have occurred within the first 24 hours. BeBe’s reactions started 48 to 72 hours after the shot. Besides the corticosteroid injection, she gave my dog an anti-nausea shot and subcutaneous fluids. The throwing up subsides and she was able to keep food down in small amounts, gradually getting back to regular meals on a bland diet. (skinless boneless chicken breasts boiled and white rice ) recommended by the vet. But then diarrhea started and BeBe had me up during the night three to four times. Contacted by the vet by phone and she said BeBe probably got into something. Seems to go back to normal BM and then slips back into diarrhea. No blood samples have been drawn.
November 30, 2020: My vet came out to car to draw the blood because of COVID 19. He was relieved to report that all her bloodwork looks good. He sent BeBe home with metronidazole antibiotic for 5 days. I am to bring back stool sample and call if no improvement by Monday. BM has improved. No loose stool or diarrhea Saturday or Sunday. She is eating and drinking well.
Take care, L.
November 24, 2020
My 12 year old cocker spaniel, Jake, had been on Apoquel® for about 2 years and its [effectiveness] had started to wear off. My vet added antibiotics which worked really well. But when he stopped taking them he was back to itching again. Then my vet suggested Cytopoint® which I tried and paid £166 for. It made absolutely no difference to him. He is now worse than ever. His skin is raw and his ear problems are flaring up. I asked the vet to put him back on Apoquel® but they are not keen on doing so until the Cytopoint® is out of his system. I now face 4 weeks of a suffering dog and sleepless nights. Not impressed at all. Bathing him with Malaseb twice a week has helped.
PB44, Lanarkshire, Scotland
November 21, 2020
My dog Winnie is a 3-year-old Frenchton (frenchie-Boston terrier). She began itching at about 14 months of age. Winnie received her 1st and only Cytopoint® injection on 9-26-2020. About 10 days later she developed welts the size of grapes. I say grapes but they were actually raised bumps. We brought her to our vet for a steroid and a Benadryl® injection. The Vet said the welts were from a bee or spider and not Cytopoint-related. I do not agree. The welts calmed down but my dog continues to be sleepy. Over the course of the last month the Cytopoint® did help stop her constant itching and let her skin infections heal up a bit but she has gained weight as others have mentioned. She also sleeps more and is bothered by light. She has become bothered by the small light on my TV at night. I have to cover it for her to rest easy. She seems to twitch more in her sleep and shakes at times while sleeping. Blank stares at times like she sees things or is lost. We are 8 weeks out from the shot and those things are still happening. Her itch has returned over the last week or so and these welts/hives are still there. Some days they are raised more than others. I have been giving her hydroxyzine daily which helps some in relieving her paw redness and licking. I am opting to not continue the Cytopoint® shots as the risks seem to outweigh the rewards in her case.
JMR in Raleigh, NC
November 23, 2020
Hi Ron, Wanted to give an update on Winnie. The dermatologist felt that the hives are actually a Staph bacterial infection in possible combination with hives. She gave a longer dose of prednisone and antibiotics to help clear it up. Also put her on Royal Canin Ultamino® to rule out food allergies.
November 12, 2020
Our two miniature schnauzers, Moose and Maize have always had skin allergies. Last May both dogs were super itchy. We took them to our vet and he gave them both Cytopoint® shots because the Apoquel® we were using wasn’t helping anymore. Four or five days later Moose began acting oddly. We noticed two bumps on his back near his tail. A few hours later the bumps became welts the size of dimes & nickels. We gave him Benadryl®. He would jump like something bit him and then chew frantically at the spot. My first thought was that Moose was having a reaction to the Cytopoint® shot he got 7 days before. But my vet said if that were the case it would have happened in 24-48 hrs. The vet thought it was more likely a spider bite. They gave him a cortisone shot. The next day he had diarrhea. He refused to eat and vomited a few times. At the end of October both dogs were itchy again. Since we had decided that the first incident was due to a spider bite we agreed to another Cytopoint® injection for both dogs. It helped them for a couple of days but then Moose began vomiting. On the 7th day he passed bloody tarry diarrhea. We took him to our emergency animal hospital. All tests where normal except his bilirubin was high. The vets though maybe Moose had an infection or had eaten something toxic but my dogs don’t get into garbage and he doesn’t chew up his toys. Maize was still fine and not having any reactions. We brought Moose home with 5 different medications and no diagnosis as to what caused all this. The next day we took him to our regular vet. He said Moose had a case of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and they don’t really know why it happens. The fact that both of these incidents happened 4-10 days after he received the Cytopoint® shot seems like more than a coincidence to me.
S.B., Irvine, California
November 8, 2020
We adopted our dog, Betty, a little over a year ago from our local shelter. They told me she was a 7 yr old spayed Walker coonhound. They had her on Apoquel®, z/d™ diet and Bravecto®. The Apoquel® wasn’t helping the itch as far as I could tell. She has seborrhea as well as atopy. She was given Cytopoint® and a 3-wk course of antibiotics. The doctor recommended 2x a week baths. After the Cytopoint® injection, her itching was under control in a few days. I will mention she had no fleas. After a few weeks of no itching, I think she was amazed herself that she didn’t itch anymore. On occasion she can go 2 months without a Cytopoint® injection. I’m guessing that is her allergy off-season. I started writing it on the calendar so I can find a pattern. It has only been one year so far. She still requires frequent bathing. Weekly would be ideal if I had the energy. We also gave our 8-yr spayed Labrador, Rose, a Cytopoint® injection once last December when she became severely itchy. She weighs 80 lbs and has allergies as well. But at her weight we can’t afford the injections every month. The Cytopoint® relieved her right away for the season. I am a retired veterinary technician (RVT) with 25 yrs experience. I think Cytopoint® is the best thing since cell phones. I think it blows Apoquel® out of the water. We tried Apoquel® for our Labrador. I wasn’t impressed. Also Rose has a history of mast cell tumors. I’d rather stay away from it.
M. P. RVT, Fresno, CA
November 5, 2020
Katie, our 2-year-old Havanese , [has] always been a little itchy. Started Cytopoint® last year. No problems at first but at the end of July about a week after the shot she started strange behavior. Staring at the floor, broke out in welts, high respiration, not herself. After a trip to two different vets with normal blood work and passing basic exams we were left with the impression that she had gotten into something. We couldn’t figure out what as we are extremely careful and creatures of habit. Nothing new or different. She’s ALWAYS with one of us. Really no way she could have gotten into anything. Anyway after 3 or 4 days she slowly came out of it and back to herself. Fast forward to now. She got a shot Friday and now today almost a week later she is starting the same symptoms. Now we know it HAS to be the Cytopoint®. It’s the only common factor. Same amount of time between shot and symptoms. So now another heart wrenching 3 or 4 days of watching her go thru this again. She will NOT be getting another Cytopoint injection and I’m praying to God she gets thru this again.
K.H., Anchorage AK, Sent from yahoo Mail on Android
October 19, 2020
My dog Axel is a mini schnauzer. He is 5 years old. He had the Cytopoint® injection 6 weeks ago and the vet thought he should have it again yesterday. He was not taking anything before that – except some Benadryl® once in a while. We are going through hell right now. Shortly after the shot, Axel became lethargic and began vomiting. He had horrible diarrhea. Axel keeps trying to defecate but there’s nothing left. The vet keeps saying they are too full to see him. We just don’t know what to do for him. We live in a village in upstate New York.
P.A. Sent from Mail for Windows 10
October 2, 2020
My dog name is Penelope, pit bull mix and spayed. She is 11 years old. She always had skin problems. This past summer her scratching got worse. On her first visit she was prescribed Apoquel. Unfortunately it didn’t help. Two weeks ago, Penelope got her first Cytopoint shot and the vet suspended the Apoquel, prescribed her antibiotics and prednisone. Saw great improvement the first week. Now she is back to licking her paws and constantly scratching. Her belly, chest and paws are red and bumpy. I also noticed dandruff. Not eating well and is somewhat lethargic. Not sure how to proceed at this point.
J. G. , Maryland
September 21, 2020
My dogs name is Payton Grace & she is a Yorkie Shih Tzu mix. Payton is a 6 year old, neutered female. Payton has received 2 Cytopoint® injections since July of this year. The most recent being August 21st. Last year during the spring & summer we gave her Apoquel® and that seemed to work with no apparent side effects. We were offered Cytopoint® this year & I thought that was great so we did not have to give her any more pills on a daily basis. Payton has other lower GI issues and was put on prescription canine hydrolyzed diet which she seemed to be reacting to very well. We have been giving her the dietary portion so she can drop a few pounds. We soon noticed she was gaining weight & my husband & I both blaming each other for giving her treats & table scraps & we were not. After reading all the feedback posts I was astonished to find so many answers to what was happening to my poor dog! Gaining weight – should not be as she is on a special diet. The smell – I could not figure out why she continued to smell like sweat even a day after she was groomed. Her ears stink – her ears have a weird odor to them (no infections per the vet). Payton started humping her chiropractor & we were told she had a severe UTI infection along with bacteria. Dropping small amounts of poop balls – they just pop out of her butt like a gumball machine – a lot of times when she is very rested and stands up & shakes/ stretches. Drinking a lot more water. We will no longer let Payton take Apoquel® or get Cytopoint® injections after reading everyone’s posts. I thought I was imagining these things. Payton was always a happy go lucky dog & now her ears are always back and she just stares. I can’t wait for this Cytopoint® to wear off & I will look for other natural ways to help her with her itch.
Maureen O’. , Chicago Illinois
September 19, 2020
My German Shorthaired Pointer, Hector has been taking Cytopoint® for 4 years. He requires it monthly. Best treatment to hit the market. He was under care of a dermatologist for 2 years prior on CADI (the old name for Cytopoint). However he does have a ton of masses & “warts”. I’ve been now seeing posts about effects that are scary & have some other questions. No infections since Cytopoint® for his skin. He’s had 1 ear and 2 anal gland infections since. His hair has grown back thicker and licking and itching is minimal & he gets to be a bird dog! He let’s me know when he is due for injection & low & behold it is always at the 30-day mark. He was on Apoquel® prior. It lost its effectiveness- was still getting staph infections. No abnormal blood values on Apoquel®. Hector is currently having central vestibular issues [balance issues] (for 4 days) & blood work came back with his red blood cells being off the charts high. He had peripheral vestibular issues last year – this is different. Seeing a neurologist on Monday. Other concern is his nose is dry but always draining & has sores & mucous like boogers that he will sometimes sneeze out. Is this related to Cytopoint® or could it be a fungus like aspergillosis that then led to the central vestibular issue? I’m not ready to face the poor prognosis that’s been given.
D. M-J., Colorado Springs, CO
August 25, 2020
My dog’s name is Daryl. He is an almost 5 yr old neutered Staffy/AmBulldog cross. When I first got him in 2017, he had no allergies, but as our first summer together progressed, he started having small welts and would lick his paws and scratch at his face. He was put on Apoquel® the first summer. Apoquel® began losing its effectiveness towards summer’s end. I [tried] a partially raw diet. That seemed to reduce his outbreaks. I kept him on Apoquel® for a month or two during summers, but it stopped working entirely and I didn’t want to keep it up anyway given the warnings about Apoquel’s long-term use. August a year ago the licking and scratching returned full force. So we tried the Cytopoint® shot. Nine days later he had an upset stomach, was vomiting and unable to keep food down. I fasted him for a day then fed him a bland diet for a few days, with varying degrees of success. [ ] I can’t say if it was related to the shot or not since it happened so far from the date of the shot, but I couldn’t pinpoint anything else that would have caused it and he’s not had [that] issue before. For the most part, aside from that, the Cytopoint® shot helped with his itching, though he seemed to have more ear funk after the shot. The one shot got him through the season. Before the shot, he was hovering in weight around 78 lbs. Since the shot, nothing has changed as far as his diet, but he hovers around 83 lbs. I have been cutting down his food and increasing his exercise, but the only way he lost 2.5 lbs was when we were walking more than 14 miles every weekend. When that was not sustainable due to the hot summer, he quickly gained it back. He honestly doesn’t eat that much. I still can’t get his weight down. His blood work was fine when I last had it checked in 2019. His allergies are getting bad again and I’m trying to treat it holistically with baths and wipes and such because even though everyone says weight gain is not a side effect, I feel like it messed up his system somehow. I saw a couple other people mention weight gain here so maybe I’m not completely off base.
Dawn. @gmail.com, Chicago, Illinois
July 28, 2020
Chloe, my spayed Beagle/Boston terrier mix is prone to vaginitis. She’s a licker, and particularly likes to lick down there. This year she’s had four vaginitis flare-ups. We’ve been to the vet every month since January. At one point we tried Apoquel® but I didn’t like how she reacted on it and discontinued after only two doses. On June 30 she received her 1st Cytopoint® injection. The injection lasted barely 3 weeks & she’s back to licking. We went to the vet just yesterday and the vet wants to do another injection. I asked, “Are there any adverse effects to the shot?” She replied, “No”. So far so good. So here we are with the Cytopoint® and I’m pretty sure I’m going to discontinue its use. Just not worth it. The other suggestion my vet offered is surgery to remove the fold of skin, which is acting as a hood over her vulva. She’s 11 and the thought of putting her through surgery just doesn’t seem worth it. So that’s my story.
Jenemail@example.com, Maynard, Massachusetts
June 30, 2010
My dog Kaiser is a 15 year old Bedlington Terrier. He was in general good health for his age, except for some elevated liver enzymes. We put him on a good diet for that, and his lab work reflected improvement. Kaiser was doing well, except for some skin issues. He has some dogie warts and licks a spot bald on one of his front legs. I took him to the Vet, and they recommended Cytopoint®. When I asked about side effects, they told me there were absolutely no side effects because it was just an “antihistamine”. I now have learned, that is false. Kaiser did leave his front leg alone after the injection and the hair started growing back. However, I noticed that gradually, over the period of a month, he became more and more lame in his back legs. His back legs are so weak now that he sometimes cannot hold himself up while eating. He is extremely lethargic and just looks like he feels miserable, ears droopy and eyes droopy, very very sad. I took him to the Vet for blood work. He is VERY anemic! When they gave him the injection a few months ago, they also did blood work and he was perfectly normal then. Now the doctor is telling me that he must have some kind of massive internal bleeding. I am trying to make an appointment for x rays, but in my heart I cannot help but wonder if it was the injection that led to the anemia. If I knew then what I know now, there is no way I would have given him the shot.
Amy W., Dallas, Texas
June 13, 2020
My dog Coco is an 8-year-old ~10lb Chihuahua/Terrier mix. She suffers from a terrible itching problem. We hesitated treating her with drugs since she periodically has to take meds due to her contracting Toxoplasmosis/ Meningitis. When we heard about Apoquel® we took her to our vet and were advised that she should be on Apoquel®, but should also receive the Cytopoint® shot every four weeks. The combination worked very well for the first month. Immediately after getting the second shot (about two weeks ago) her personality changed dramatically. She used to spend her days with her brother looking out the front window and barking at anything that walked or flew by. Now she hides in the tiniest and darkest places in our house and will not come out when called. If we turn a light on in the room where she is hiding she runs to a different darker room. We aren’t sure, but it seems she has become extremely light sensitive. Her appetite has increased dramatically, although, I have to find her to feed her. We stopped the Apoquel® about ten days ago. We are hoping that after the Cytopoint® wears off she will return to her normal self. If she still continues to hide after another two weeks we will take her in for blood tests. I pray that I have not doomed my little girl by choosing to have her injected with the Cytopoint®. After reading other’s stories and knowing what I now know, I would caution anyone considering the drug to try anything and everything else first.
J.G. San Antonio, TX
June 7, 2020
My 9-year-old boxer, Lexi, had terrible allergies. I had tried everything from sublingual allergy medicine to Apoquel® to steroids, the whole gamut. My vet suggested Cytopoint® and it worked! She got her shot every 4 weeks. I was thrilled that her paws no longer had painful red swollen ulcers. Then one day she didn’t seem her silly happy self. I waited another day and she became more lethargic and wouldn’t eat. I took her to the vet and found her white blood cell count was through the roof and her red blood cell count in the toilet. I was told that her immune system had turned on her. We were given medications. I can’t remember what they were, but it was difficult to give them to her because she refused to eat anything or drink anything. We took her to an emergency vet and was told that they could do a blood transfusion $3000, but there was a 30% chance it would do nothing and a 30% chance it might help for a couple of days but just postponed the problem and probably less than 30% chance that would be successful. 2 days later Lexi passed away. I have read very similar experiences from other people in various forums. I know there was only one clinical trial done before getting approval. I’m curious what post-marketing surveillance is showing. Because it is being touted as being safe for any dog and I don’t believe that it is.
D.A. , Watauga, Texas
May 21, 2020
My pomchi, Rusty, was given a shot of Cytopoint® 4 days ago. He’d been licking his paw so much it was maddening. I’d been giving him half a tablet of chlorpheniramine twice a day and it wasn’t helping much. I was excited when my vet said there was a shot I could get for him every 8 weeks that would take away his itch, with no side effects. Nothing happened that first day. The next day my dog was very lethargic and licking his paw only occasionally. The third day he was more alert and, unfortunately, licking more often. Today he is licking constantly…like he’d never been given the magic $47 shot. I have had a call in to my vet six hours ago to find out if it’s safe to put him back on the chlorpheniramine, but he’s not returned my call yet. Rusty is drinking water like a camel and that’s unusual for him.
K. Y., Raleigh, NC , Sent from my iPad
May 26, 2020
Just an update. Rusty stopped drinking so much water after two days. My vet’s assistant called me today, to tell me I could could put Rusty back on the chlorpheniramine. He will, of course, get no more Cytopoint® shots. Thank you for your kindness and interest.
May 10, 2020
My dog Grady is a 10 year old, neutered, Welch terrier. His allergies started around 7 years old. At first it was just some itching and chewing. It’s grown into sores and self mutilation over the last 3 years. Our vet put him on Apoquel® when the allergies started. It worked at first but then stopped working. [Then] he starting getting “pussy” skin abscesses. I stopped [further injections]. I kept the allergies beaten back with diet, Benadryl and medicated baths. When he turned 10 he had a horrendous outbreak over his entire back. The vet gave him an antibacterial, an anti-fungal and his first Cytopoint® injection. It was a miracle – for about 2 months. The second shot lasted 5 weeks. He also developed some severe bruising in both groins a couple days [after the shot]. He developed severe, thick patchy areas over the old bruising in both groins over a 3-week period. Grady itched at it terribly. The vet said Grady needed another Cytopoint shot and gave him one. The shot didn’t help the groin itching at all. I had to beat it back with my old standbys. His itchy feet didn’t improve much with the third shot either. He did develop 1 big fatty nodule on his chest that bruised and several small ones on his legs that looked like plain fatty nodules. It’s been 5 weeks since his last shot. I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and Cytopoint is giving me a bad feeling. To many odd things have happened in the last 4 months to my dog. He did start eating like a horse after the first shot but I attributed this to feeling better. I had the vet check his thyroid soon after his first shot. It was elevated. The vet said it could be falsely elevated due to the infection. We checked it a month later along with a T3 and T4. Everything was back to normal. My dog has gained about 2 pounds over 4 months. I don’t foresee it going any higher. I am not going to rush to the vet to give him another Cytopoint shot unless his allergies are bad.
Lorie A., Missouri
April 17, 2020
My dog and best friend, Artie, started receiving Cytopoint injections several years ago. The second year after his first set of treatments, he began the injections again due to his atopic dermatitis. Within weeks after the first Cytopoint injection, I came home to find him standing in a dark bathroom, staring at the wall, drooling. He was diagnosed with sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARDS) shortly thereafter. I went through severe depression watching him struggle with confusion as to why he completely lost his sight, literally overnight. He also started growing strange wart-like growths all over his body. Within four years since his initial treatment, he has had an aggressive fatty tumor removed from under his armpit, and has another that is slow growing, yet large, on his hindquarter. His entire body also has wart-like growths; approximately 35 of them. One is on the very corner of his right eye, near where his tear duct is. I am furious that there is so little knowledge of SARDS, and if there is possibly a correlation between the devastating disease & Cytopoint Injections. Strangely, his Ophthalmologist says that his retinas are still intact, yet he is still completely blind. His Vet has seen the growths, and doesn’t seem concerned about them, but he scratches them and they bleed occasionally, and new ones seem to pop up every week or so.
Rebecca & Artie, Rhode Island Sent from my iPhone
I am sorry to read about Artie’s struggles. Warts are often a sign that Cytopoint® has suppressed a dog’s natural defenses against the formation of these tumors. Most warts are viral-caused, and many dogs probably carry the dog papillomavirus just as we carry a lot of viruses that don’t generally make us ill. Our immune systems keep them in check. But as for Artie’s sudden loss of vision, you are the first to write to me about that. It could be that his eye problems have nothing to do with the Cytopoint®. But Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody (mAb) and eye problems have occurred with a number of those drugs given to people in the past. Let me know if his vision improves now that he is not taking Cytopoint. Ron
March 28, 2020
[My dog’s name is Boo. He is a neutered male Lab/Shep/husky, almost 8 yrs old. He had been taking Cytopoint® injections every 5-6 months for the last 4 years. Cytopoint greatly improved his itching for the first 2 years]
Boo’s first vet suggested Cytopoint in 2016 for severe itching on his groin, tummy, and anus areas. We had tried allergy diets for years and nothing seemed to work! Cytopoint magically made it go away and we were thrilled! Spring forward to December 2019 when we gave him another Cytopoint shot. In January of 2020 we noticed Boo was limping, panting, and whining a lot, so we took him to the vet. They said it was a flu and arthritis and gave us meds. 1 week later we noticed a lump at the injection site of the Cytopoint. They did a test to see if it was a cancerous tumor (extracted cells) and said it looked clear and thought it was just fatty tissue. His lump got worse and his pain level was pretty high. In Late February, I went to a highly reviewed vet and they did x-rays and found that he had developed bone cancer in his hip near the injection site. He was put on meds to manage his pain but by March 7, after days of not eating and days of extreme pain with nights being the worst, I had my beloved Boo put down to end his suffering. The official diagnosis was listed as bone cancer but I feel in my heart that it was Cytopoint as it was at or near the injection site of his most recent Cytopoint shot. I feel his immunity was harmed over time and this last shot was a catalyst. I miss him terribly and I feel guilty for getting him the shots.
SA in Kenai, Alaska Sent from my iPhone
March 24, 2020
My 11 yr old Shih Tzu is a spayed female puppy mill survivor. Miley has the sweetest disposition and is so happy with her life outside a cage. I adopted Miley 3 yrs ago and tried everything to relieve her constant itching. After extensive research and a diagnosis of excessive epithelial cells from her vet, Miley had her 1st Cytopoint injection in December 2018. It was a miracle, her scratching stopped immediately. Miley continues to get an injection every 7-8 weeks with NO side affects. I continue to follow updates and stories.
March 24, 2020
Our pit bull rescue [ ], Ryder, is a 6-year-old neutered male. As he aged, he started scratching a lot and we could see that his skin was irritated. We had him on Apoquel for maybe 2 years and in November 2019 we decided to get the Cytopoint shot. We didn’t feel like the Apoquel was working as well as we wanted. I believe we [could have] increased the dosage, but we decided to go w/ Cytopoint.
His first shot was in Nov. 2019, and it worked immediately! Come February 2020, he got his 2nd shot (8 weeks) and again, seemed fine. About a week after, we noticed he was having some soft stool (w/ a little red in it), some vomiting and stomach noises. His mood seemed fairly normal- maybe not 100% but 85%ish. He was also eating pretty normally. I was ready to do the bland diet and as I walked passed him one day, he looked up at me and he had a red swollen right eye, and redness on the right side of his snout. We went to the ER vet immediately. They did bloodwork and it was normal. They gave him a Benadryl shot and suggested we continue it, along with an antibiotic for his tummy. The eye returned to normal within a day or two, but then he started getting bumps on his skin. He’s always had little surface ones, but now they were raised a bit. We visited our regular vet the next day and they suggested a steroid (prednisone) shot with an anti nausea medication. He was now on 4 medications (benadryl, antibiotic, steroid and anti nausea). After a few days of the bland diet and meds, he seemed a bit constipated, but eventually it returned to normal- consistency and regularity. Move forward to March 17th when he gets his 3rd shot. About 5 to 6 days later, he starts getting softer stool and vomiting. By day 7, it looked like it did the previous time- thin and soft with some red/blood in it. He also had the stomach noises and seems lethargic. So, noticing this patter has convinced us that it’s the Cytopoint shot.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
February 25, 2020
My vet told me Cytopoint® had no bad effects. So I tried it for my older 50 lb pit bull two weeks ago. She acted like she was dying after the Cytopoint® injection. She just laid there and if I came up to her she looked at me very sadly. Her gums looked OK she just felt bad. Now she has this rash. Cytopoint® seemed to help her allergies and itching but she became lethargic and seemed like she didn’t feel right. Tonight she has a rash that is red and scaly in one spot and bumps on her stomach area. I’ve given her quercetin and cortisone cream which has helped and its back to the vet. There is no way I will ever give this to her again. Her mild itching could have likely been controlled with the quercetin (flavonoid). Just because there are commercials about them to normalize them should not make anyone think they are safe. Then I took her to the ER and they ran blood work. [Her blood was very fatty] and the vet said she likely has pancreatitis. She did not have this two weeks earlier prior to the Cytopoint injection. The ER vet said she could not get liver values due to the fat and gave her hydroxyzine for the allergy with a follow up with my vet. The next day my vet gave her fluids and a shot for the pancreatitis which helped her greatly. She is pretty much back to her normal personality and on a low fat diet. They felt her allergy was a contact allergy. I’m not so sure. I’m so glad I took her in that night. She just didn’t seem right. I think the injection was hard for her.
Marji L., Georgia
February 8, 2020
My dog’s name: Gunner. Breed: Black Lab/Springer Spaniel. Sex: neutered male. Age: 7 yrs.
Gunner has been receiving Cytopoint® since her July, 2019 first shot.
The 1st Cytopoint® injection lasted 5 months. The 2nd shot Jan. 22, 2020 [did not produce] as quick an improvement as the first time when he pretty much stopped all itching the same day. It is Feb 6 and he’s still licking his feet, groin, biting nails at times every day but not constantly. He was on Apoquel® before that . From what info we have he was on Apoquel® for 2 years with “some” improvement. We adopted him from a rescue July 1, 2019. He was not on any medications. At the time he had severe allergies….. ears, licking, biting etc. bare spots, super oily smelly skin. Also air licking. Vet records said he also had severe anxiety. He has had no infections since we’ve had him on Cytopoint®. It seems Cytopoint is the better of the two [medications] so far. Bare spots on his skin have filled in, coat look healthy, bare spots filled in, it is shiny but the skin is dry and flaky maybe from all the bathing. We were bathing him daily at first……now 2x week. Our holistic vet said to use head/shoulders. We also use a mild pet oatmeal/almond shampoo (Pure Pet Pure Care Herbal Shampoo) each time after the H&S. Less anxiety but still air licking. The vet also said to change his diet to fresh human grade, use a homeopathic histaminum hydrochloricum for allergies 30 C…dose, a few pellets daily dissolved in water. Also querectin bromelain with stinging nettle blend…half the human dose. Aveeno spray (buy powder..mix up). If left sitting out it starts to stink pretty quickly so refrigerate or only make up what you need.
J.W., Northern Minnesota
February 8, 2021 Gunner is no longer responding to Cytopoint®. Only minimal relief after his second injection. All the herbs the holistic vet prescribed have failed to help.
February 9, 2021 I described Gunner’s problem to a human dermatologist who studies Dupixent®. Dupixent is given to people with atopic dermatitis. She has identified a group of patients she calls “non-durable responders”. I will see if she might offer us some theories as to why Cytopoint® is no longer helping Gunner. The two drugs are not equivalent. Cytopoint primarily blocks Interleukin 31 while Dupixent blocks Interleukin 4. But perhaps we can gain some insights. I’ll let you know. RSH
November 18, 2019
My bichon was very sick after her second dose of Cytopoint®, not herself for weeks.
D. M. ********@hotmail.com
Sent from my iPad
October 20, 2019
Dear Mr. Hines
My beautiful 14 yr old lurcher, Archie, had one injection of Cytopoint® and within hours of having it, changed into a lethargic totally different dog. He kept keeling over, his breathing was most peculiar, he went off his food and a week after I had him put to sleep. Months before I had changed Archie’s food having found just one kind that stopped him being itchy. I felt he was getting bored of it – leaving some of it when I had added the other things that he could eat like rice with gravy or such like. So I tried different hypoallergenic dog foods – and he started scratching again – not horrendously, but I thought I ought to give him something that would ease him while I waited for his old food to be delivered. How I so regret that. The vet gave me only one alternative to Cytopoint – as expensive too. I have heard since that there are plenty of other as effective and cheaper drugs was in June this year – 2019. The vets were keen to do all sorts of tests and also discouraged me from looking on the internet. Having read about other dogs who had received this injection, I discovered all Archie’s symptoms were similar to the others. They all had bad endings – some after numerous, and months of tests. He was suffering, though at times briefly, he would be back to a bit more normality. I wondered whether his lack of eating was because it was dry. He took some in his mouth and then just let it drop out. I could not bear to see him like this and knew that he hated going to the vets. Having seen that there was not a single dog who had had an adverse effect to Cytopoint, who came through it I decided I did not want him to suffer any longer. I’m afraid I couldn’t take it seeing his beautiful eyes looking at me saying – “What is happening?” “I know you can help me”. He trusted me and yet I let him have that injection.
I so miss him and feel so guilty.
A., Devon, England
October 10, 2019
My Scottie dog, Molly is 14. When I got Molly in 2018 she had almost no fur left. I immediately got some chlorhexidine shampoo and ear cleaner, bathed her 3 times for the 9 hour car ride home. Her skin was still pink all over, and the smell was horrid. We drove straight to my vet. Molly was kept to do blood work, groom, administer antibiotics, etc..Her blood work values were all normal. The vet gave her an antibiotic injection and sent her home with antibiotics & Apoquel®. Molly has struggled with bad ears and itchy skin, but kept under control with Apoquel® and weekly baths in Duoxo™ (green bottle).
Another vet recommended the Cytopoint® injection last September. Molly seemed to get relief the first several days. Thereafter, her skin has become worse than ever. Eruptions emerged, ears became infected and she smells horrible. All this despite increasing bath frequency, ear cleaning and checking for any sign of fleas, sanitizing all bedding. It’s like her immune system has gone into overdrive against itself. The vet dismissed my report and concern. I was hopeful, because given Molly’s age & the efficacy with the Cytopoint®. However, this is miserable! we’ve lost so much ground in one month it’s astounding. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced their pet having any problems of this sort?
Thank you for your time,
H.D. New Orleans, LA
September 26, 2019
My Lucy was (sadly) a 13.5 yo spayed Westie. I am H.O. and we live in Los Angeles. She, like many Westies, she had a long time struggle with itchy skin. We managed it with various treatments – Apoquel worked some of the time but she was most comfortable on Prednisone. Because of the damaging side effects of Prednisone, we were always ‘trying to get her off it. One week ago (Wed 9/18) she had her yearly comprehensive exam… bloodwork looked great. Her kidney numbers hadn’t changed much since her last reading (either 6 mo or 1 yr ago) and we were hopeful a Cytopoint would finally do the trick. She got the injection – One day and a half later she had no appetite and was lethargic – this was very unusual for her. She spent the day at the vet under observation, they concluded she was withdrawing from the Prednisone (5 mg/day) and they gave her 1/2 a dose. The next 2 days, more of the same… no appetite and lethargy. I gave her another 1/2 dose of the Prednisone to help wean her. Sunday 9/22, she spent most of the day at the vets office… with 3 injections and many fluids, the vet was hopeful she’d perk up that evening – NO such luck. Monday 9/23 she was ‘gone’, practically catatonic. We had a traveling vet come to our house an euthanize her. I’m confused, my girl was fine until she received the Cytopoint shot, I understand that there are no side effects but death is the ultimate and worst side effect of all.
O. Household , *******@gmail.com. Sent from my iPad : )
Los Angeles, CA
September 17, 2019
Our dog’s name is Marigold, She is a spayed female
American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit) approximately 5 years old. Marigold was a stray. She was emaciated, had demodectic mange, worms, skin infections, lacerations in her paws and chain wounds around her neck. She has a slightly prolapsed birth canal, which we believe explains the 3 c-section incisions in her belly. Since we have had her (9 months), she has had 3 skin infections that always seem to be preceded by an allergic response. Her diet is limited to raw rabbit and whitefish/cod due to food allergies to more common proteins. The minute she is left alone she will tear into herself until stopped. Sometimes a bloody mess. Marigold received her 1st Cytopoint injection 5 days ago. 40% relief within 2 hours. 80% relief within 24 hours. 95% relief within 3 days. Completely different dog than the one we adopted. Sleeps more soundly, plays more often, personality on display. My hope is that relief will allow his immune system to heal by reducing the constant level of cortisol/stress that may be inhibiting proper expression of the immune system. No negative side effects to date.
CBL, Haddon Heights, N.J.
September 13, 2019
Hi – I have a rescue Chihuahua who we think is about 12 years old. She has had many issues with allergies, i.e., itching scratching, coughing, etc. She has also been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis for chronic coughing and is currently on a regime of hydrocodone. She was at one time on Theophylline and also Cerena®, but they both stopped working for her bouts of chronic coughing. She gets Cytopoint® injections for itching about every 4-5 weeks over the last year. The last two injections I have noticed that she seems to start to cough more after getting the Cytopoint® injection. Hydrocodone is working pretty well to keep her chronic cough at bay but after the injection, she coughs and has now started wheezing. [ ] Two days ago she got a Cytopoint® injection, [ ] started wheezing and has been wheezing pretty bad the last two days and last night I noticed her ear had crust on it, almost as if it had a coating of sticky hairspray or something on it and I could barely touch it. [ ] vet this morning gave her a shot of steroids and [ ] script for antibiotics. He said it looks like a hot spot and possibly something bit her. He said the inner ear looks okay, just the outside of the ear. I asked if it could be related to the Cytopoint® injection and he didn’t think so because of her having had injections for over a year now. [ ] Just has me wondering if the Cytopoint® is now causing adverse reactions in her after all this time. I do not think I am going to get her any more Cytopoint injections [ ] Thank you.
S. M., Severn, MD
September 12, 2019
I have a rescue Belgian Malinois now 4 years old. Besides the normal itching, she did come down with severe itching October, 2018. Vet prescribed Apoquel which worked almost immediately. Then I read about the adverse long-time effects it can have on canines. Had her on it for maybe a total of 2 months. On March 13, 2019 she received her first Cytopoint shot. It also stopped the itching almost immediately. Added the Now brand Allergy Pill (Quercetin with Bromelain – 4 pills a day) and we did well for 5 months. But her itching flared up again in mid-August, 2019. Had another dose of Cytopoint administered on August 21, 2019. I live in Tucson, AZ and the Vet indicated that allergy season was again in full swing. Hope we can survive another almost half a year on this last dose.
Aug 15, 2019
Piper is a 2-year-old spayed female cockapoo. She has had some itching this time of year for two summers. This year her itching was terrible, and I brought her to the vet after trying some home remedies. She had the Cytopoint shot on Tuesday. That night she slept better and wasn’t itching. Wednesday she ate and was her regular self overall. Today is Thursday and she has some itching. I used the spray gel they prescribed today a bit. Tonight she still has not eaten her food I put out at 12:00 noon. She eats it by 8:00 pm usually. We went for a long walk, and she seemed fine (returned at 7:00). It is now 11:00 and she just vomited blood without eating anything today. (She does eat grass and weeds in the yard on occasion).
M.B. , Mountain Iron, MN
June 3, 2019
We adopted a rescue, [chihuahua] from the Humane Society. Champ Bailey was just 1.3 pounds and about 6 weeks when we got him just before Thanksgiving. They told my daughter not to name him because he probably wouldn’t make it. He had worms, of course, and coccidia but she kept him alive by holding him on her chest with a heating pad and spoon-feeding him chicken baby food. [ ]. The vet noticed a little raw skin on his “elbows.” We began moving him first to fresh pet then homemade chicken & rice. The chewing, itching and raw skin got worse. A skin scrape determined no mites but bacteria and he was started on antibiotics, special shampoo baths, Apoquel & prescription food trials. The itching has calmed a little but the food trials were a disaster. He is now a 6.6 pound mostly Chihuahua but possibly some mix, otherwise healthy guy. [ ]He won’t eat the prescription food and ends up going into hypoglycemic shock. The vet wants us try to Cytopoint but I’m nervous because of our experience with Bella [our previous chihuahua who died subsequent to a Cytopoint injection]. At the same time if we can’t control the itchy skin he will develop other problems. After reading I’ve learned Apoquel is only supposed to be for dogs that are 12+ months so I’m concerned that we shouldn’t be giving him that. Is the Cytopoint worth a try when we aren’t even sure the cause of his itching?
T.J.M. , Sent from my iPhone
Has Champ been test-treated for sarcoptic mange, is anyone else in the household itching, has a single flea been found, has a good skin staph antibiotic been used? RSH
May 26, 2019
My dog has IBD (6 year old golden doodle, diagnosed at 4 years old). I gave her Cytopoint to treat black leathery itchy skin on her inner back thighs, and had great results – her skin issue cleared and she was very happy and energetic. Her IBD was non existent – it was a magical ten weeks. Our first injection was good for 5 weeks, the second one also. The third injection did not work – her body stopped responding – her IBD returned (diarrhea) as well as the itchy black skin.
H. M. , Sent from my iPhone
March 23, 2019
My pet is 7 years old mini-schnauzer bitch, called Daisy. She is with me since 3 years. She came almost bald, after being recovered from demodectic mange and mycosis (probably Malassezia). [Daisy is also atopic]] After a quite bad itching last year (actually the whole year) we tried Apoquel first. It helped, but not 100%. And my vet was in doubts about longer application because of potential long-term side effects. We started with Cytopoint on 19th December 2018. Itching disappeared after [a few] hours. It was big deal, because [it was the first time] I was able to heal the destroyed skin parts (all over the dog). No more itching, no extra infections. The first dose lasted about 8 before some itching could be observed. Not so bad as before the injection but we decided to not wait longer and on 19th of February this year she got the next injection, so it’s now 32 days. No itching so far. There are still some skin problems, but they can be held under control using appropriate shampoos, Octenisept. After the first injection Staph infections were more frequent but it is still easier to control than it was before Cytopoint.
I can hardly imagine living now without Cytopoint. [Her] comfort (for Daisy and for me) is incomparably better than before. I have still also some Apoquel (just in case), but have not used since we started Cytopoint.
W. J., Rzeczyca, Poland
March 28, 2019 Update on Daisy:
Not many new facts but some rethinking by me and my vet. A few weeks ago Daisy had an external ear inflammation. It looked quite bad but with Octenisept, Sollux and Recicort we came quite fast through this. One week [has gone by now] and we now [have it in] the other ear. Just treating it with Posatex – looks like it [will] heal [just as] fast .Just recalled some weeks ago she had her first an eye conjunctiva inflammation. It [ ] recovered with Vigamox, then the same in the other eye. Before Cytopoint, we had general skin problems, partially [or] on the whole body, but no inflammations like above. Shortly before [beginning] Cytopoint, Daisy had a disaster of the skin of her underbelly including her anus and the surface surrounding it. The difference: before the Cytopoint – the affected skin surface was almost the whole dog. [ ] Now local infections are more frequent, but are easier to heal, because [there is] no itching involved. My vet thinks it may be a kind of side effect. If it continues like that, I would have no doubt [that that is true]. We will stay with Cytopoint as long nothing worse develops. Best, W. J.
February 10, 2019
My dog Wilkie is a neutered, 6 year-old Pug/Shih Tzu mix who was very healthy, aside from many allergies that affect his skin. We live in Lockport, NY. Our vet suggested [a Cytopoint] injection. First he was just lethargic; within a few weeks, he was ravenously hungry/thirsty ALL the time. Gained a LOT of weight. [ ] I took him to the vet to explore these symptoms. He was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and placed on Thyro-tabs .03 mg, BID. A few weeks later, I noticed he wasn’t tracking treats, and seemed reluctant to go on walks, and would walk behind me when he would go. Back to the vet, vision exam, sent to veterinary ophthalmologist…diagnosed with probable SARDS (sudden acute retinal degeneration syndrome). He is now almost totally blind, and on steroids and antibiotics. I am terrified to find out if this is just the beginning and other symptoms will occur. He had ONE Cytopoint injection. I feel responsible for his condition. We are devastated.
J. S., Lockport, New York
January 12, 2019
I would like to tell you our story about our 10-year-old puggle who has been suffering from allergies. [ ] The last vet [ ] placed her on Apoquel. Within a few weeks she developed a severe bladder infection [ ] Our new vet suggested we put her on cyclosporine. It helped her ear infections but unfortunately it began causing severe bladder infections as the Apoquel did. Our vet then spoke to a friend of his who was a dermatologist who highly suggested Cytopoint. She had her first injection in May of 2018. She received another injection in June of 2018 and again in July of 2018. At the beginning of August I noticed that it appeared that she seemed to be losing weight. When we brought her in on August 24, 2018 for another injection she had lost 10 lbs. [ ] our vet [ ] ordered a complete SuperChem, CBC. To our shock, she had a glucose of 597!!! Full blown diabetes which now she has to receive two insulin injections a day and the diabetes has yet been stabilized. Two days after Christmas, she went blind from the cataracts. [ ] All of us have pretty much agreed that we all felt that the Cytopoint injections have been the cause of the diabetes since all her blood work was completely normal until the Cytopoint injections began.
Perhaps you will not agree with all of this and feel that the Cytopoint drug is safe. [ ]
November 1, 2018
My boy had his first Cytopoint injection 3 weeks ago, and it was like a tiny miracle! I had used Apoquel for a short time, but the side effects were such that I stopped it.
I will admit I was very fearful of Cytopoint® [ ] Once the Australian summer started, I knew it was more important for him to have a good life right now.. not later. He still has a little toe nibble now and then, but that is getting less as well. I put socks on his front feet at night and then he doesn’t bother with his feet. The fact that it [ ] only targets IL-31 helped me make the decision, but I am still aware that he may develop ADAs, and there may be other issues, such as it may stop working. For now, I will take whatever I can and this has [positively] changed his life and ours. His hair is now growing back on his belly and he is so happy and energetic most of the time. Sometimes he seems a little lethargic, but that could be the summer heat, the antihistamine, or just that he is ageing. He still has lot of zest for a 12 year old. I thought it was worth trying an antihistamine. I chose Zyrtec to start with, and with a teeny dose of this, his eyes have stopped watering. We are lucky his is one of the 20% or so of dogs that respond to antihistamine. Thank you so much for your incredible information on Cytopoint. I would not have made the decision to go with it, had I not come to your page.
Kind Regards, R.K. & Muffy , Adelaide, Australia
January 24, 2020
Hi Ron, I would like to add/update my email of Nov 1, 2018. Mr. Muffy has been on Cytopoint® now for 14 months with absolutely no side effects and is a very very happy boy, going on 14 this year. Best thing ever. Thank you. R.K. & Muffy. Adelaide, Australia
November 20, 2020 update:
Hi Ron, a further update in Mr Muffy, he has now been on Cytopoint® for over two years and his quality of life is now exceptional. The one thing I have noted is that if we elect to go for a higher dose, trying to get a bit longer efficacy, he does have side effects for a few days, such as huffing and puffing at night, off his food, etc. I have now had the dose cut back to .4 and he weights 3.2 kg (7 lbs). He is not showing any of these after effects with the lower dose, and we do it every three weeks to keep him comfortable. He is a very happy dog. Not like the one who scratched and licked his feet constantly. Also on a raw organic diet, which I believe makes such a big difference.
September 29, 2018
Oscar is my 7-year-old American Bulldog/bull mastiff mix. He is 108 lbs and has suffered from itching and skin infections for years. He’s been on Cytopoint for almost two years. No diagnostic blood work was done previously. I just adopted him 5 weeks ago and had a geriatric profile and urinalysis done. Here are his results: Here are the abnormal values: Total protein 8.3 High, Globulin 5.4 High, ALB/Glob Ratio 0.5 low, ALT 17 Low, MCH 21.8 Low.
C.P. , Sent from my iPhone
September 12, 2018
Cytopoint has completely changed my wire haired visla’s life. He is a 5-year old neutered male. Within 24 hours of first injection his constant scratching and licking had reduced by 80%. Within 4 days, itching and scratching was gone altogether. The infections and hot spots on his skin healed. They had all been caused by his constant scratching. Red has been on Cytopoint® now for 6 months. The summer months in the last few years have been awful for him. He preferred to stay in the house than venture outside and at times looked quite depressed. He has sailed through the summer constantly playing outside intense itching a thing of the past. Apoquel®, which he had been on for 3 years, never stopped the constant scratching and gave him little relief. This is a dog that has 48 allergies and would visit the dermatologist every month he had creams lotions tablets washes and Apoquel and I felt we were fighting a loosing battle. Now he gets 1 injection a month with no side effects. His hair has grown back. The only thing he still gets is ear infections. My vet plucks as much hair from them as possible, but his whole ear canal is a mass of hairs. I wouldn’t use anything but Cytopoint® now.
July 26, 2018
Every summer my dog gets a shot of Cytopoint® because she is allergic to flea saliva. Every year it worked like a miracle and will last 2-3 months. Perfect for summer. This year, it did not work at all. The vet is baffled as to its ineffectiveness. (She said she will call me tomorrow with her thoughts). She wanted to give her steroids and other injections. I am a little hesitant. We can simply avoid the dog park and such areas to keep her comfortable through summer. I wonder if she has grown immunity to Cytopoint® although the vet will call me tomorrow with her thoughts.
July 16, 2018
I have a 7-year-old male neutered Bernese Mountain Dog/Lab cross. He has had skin issues since he was 3. Worst in hot weather. Over the years we have tried a number of treatments for skin infections and itching, including elimination diets, raw food, fish oil supplements, hypoallergenic food, antibiotics, topical creams, medicated shampoos etc. He has had very few steroid based treatments, but a couple of topical creams, ear drops, one short course of pills very early on when his allergies were thought to be a temporary reaction to fleas. He is also hypothyroid and takes meds for that.
He had been on Apoquel® for well over a year, and it was working reasonably well, but he seemed to need a higher and higher dose for relief, and would start itching immediately if I tried to lower the dose. As he is over 110 lbs at his lowest weight, it was also very expensive. I read about Cytopoint®. My vet said it was worth a try since it was supposed to have fewer side effects. This is also very expensive for us, as he needs 3 vials. He had finished his Apoquel the day before he had the shot. The day after the shot he started drooling, panting, and his skin became very itchy, wet and stinky. His eyes and face puffed up and were itchy and swollen. He was lethargic and would eat – only if hand fed his raw food. He was quite thirsty all the time. The vet put him on antibiotics. My vet is concerned about the Cytopoint ‘s effect on his immune system. We are at the point of considering steroid treatment as a last resort, but will give this a few days to see if he improves. I wonder if the Cytopoint® is suppressing his immune system, and slowing down his reaction to the antibiotics.
R.S. , West coast of Canada
May 25, 2018
My Bingo just turned 11. Started suffering with hot spots summer 3 years ago. Had weepy, icky eyes and yeast infected ears for many past years. Stayed on steroids and topical and antibiotics with brief, if any, relief. Got first Cytopoint® injection end of February, 2018, and today, May 25, received second shot with grooming. It’s been an actual miracle. He stays outdoors with me all day (we made him stay in past two summers for his own comfort, but he is my constant companion and was sad), hasn’t had the slightest itch, NO runny/irritated eyes or ears. Amazing. Although he hadn’t become symptomatic at all, after making sure Vet felt it was safe, we went ahead and re medicated today, full three months after first treatment. I’ve recommended it. Has made a huge, wonderful difference in mine and Bingo’s lives. Really all of our family. Grand kids have played with him since their births.
Thanks. T. M., Central Louisiana.
Sent from my iPhone
May 24, 2018
My 7 yr old Border Collie, Taite, raw fed from 8 weeks to current, suddenly started itching like mad last spring. She was scratching her elbow area raw and parts of her stomach as well. I have never had a dog with allergies. Discussed allergy shots with the vet and she got 1 shot of Cytopoint® last year. Vet said there have been no side effects to date. Was sent home with the pamphlet to chart when she stopped itching. She stopped itching COMPLETELY the very next day. She has not needed another shot at this time, and has not started itching at all yet this year. I recommended it for a friends dog that was beside itself itching, it took a few days more for that dog to stop, but it finally did too.
Br. M. and The Not So Itchy Taite
March 18, 2018
Here are my Portuguese Water Dog’s experiences with Cytopoint®:
[He is] a large Portuguese Water Dog with a normal weight at 63-66 pounds. [He is] 8 years old. [He has] a history of all-over itchiness to the point that he scratches until his hair comes out. Only itchy from September-May. He had Cytopoint® shots on 3/17, 9/17 and 12/17. Excellent results – measured by not seeing dog hair all over the house and minimal scratching. The shot seems to last quite some time as indicated above. He still gets a rash on his stomach that needs to be treated with antibiotics. He has gained 8-10 pounds since starting Cytopoint®. Currently weighs 76 pounds. His thyroid check revealed normal results. My dog eats a very precisely measured and monitored diet. We have even reduced the amount of his food with continued weight gain. We can find no reason for his weight gain, except the Cytopoint®. I did note that you have [other] reports of this on your site. My Vet is contacting his Cytopoint® rep to discuss this and hopefully, we may gain some insight. L. M.
Dear Ms. M.,
Thank you for your email. You are quite blessed that one shot lasts so long ! I hope it continues to do so and I would appreciate you letting me know how he does as time goes by. Regarding his weight gain. I would like to keep up with that too. If he is getting no more calories or less exercise since beginning Cytopoint®, I am unsure how the two could be related. However it is perhaps conceivable. There is a lot of messenger compound “crosstalk” in the body. They “chat” and one often influences the behavior of others. The messenger compound that Cytopoint® targets, Interleukin-31 (IL-31), shares a receptor (docking station) for another compound, Oncostatin M (OSM). OSM has been documented to be involved in weight gain. Perhaps, in some as yet unknown and complex way, there is a connection. I hope others write to me regarding similar weight changes in their pets.
February 18, 2018
I have a 12-year-old Shih Tzu/Maltese. My dog just had his 2nd Cytopoint® shot. The first one didn’t do much. I’m from the Netherlands. This afternoon I found out that the [suggested Cytopoint] dosage in the U.S. is higher than the dosage in the Netherlands. In the U.S. it’s 2 mg per kg. body weight. In the Netherlands it’s 1 mg. per kg. body weight. I find that rather strange, and that would explain why it’s not working very well for my dog. And the costs are way higher here. I’m a bit confused now, should I ask for a higher dosage? And would that be safe.
J.V.S. The Netherlands
Dear J.V.S. You are correct about that. The European Medical Agency approved their Cytopoint label as recommending a minimum dose of 1 mg/kg body weight while the US FDA approved their minimum dose at 2 mg/kg body weight. I believe that that is no more than a clash of bureaucracies. The EMA is considerably more conservative and demanding in their requests for pre-marketing study data than our FDA. If, in one of those studies, they found Cytopoint effective at 1 mg/kg, the conservative thing would be to set that as the minimum dose. The EMA does not say that the dose can not be higher.
February 1, 2018
I have a 5 year old boxer who received a second Cytopoint® injection yesterday. (First injection was approximately 6 weeks ago). His reaction immediately was agitation and restlessness. Over 12 hours after injection, he developed vomiting. He ate this AM and seems more “normal” however more needy. Previous to starting Cytopoint®, he was taking Apoquel®, Zyrtec® and 50 mg Benadryl® daily and did not have as much relief as with Cytopoint®. My question is whether the side effects should be considered unsafe for him to continue.
D.M. Omaha, NB
Dear Ms. M.,
That is a very hard question to answer and I am not allowed to comment on individual dogs. Cytopoint® focuses on the immune system. The sort of side effects I would expect -if they occurred -would be some type of negative effect on immune cells, not the effects you describe. However, almost all veterinary injectables have contents in their formula in addition to the active ingredient. Many dogs are fearful at veterinary hospitals. That can just be an underlying element in their individual personalities or things like commotion at the facility, scents of another fearful dog (even after its left) or a less than amicable relationship between a veterinarian or technician administering the product. Probably more important, dogs closely key off of their owner’s fears and mood. Dogs are exquisitely sensitive to that. So if you were apprehensive, your pet would be too. You cannot hide your emotions from your dog. Best wishes, RSH
January 19, 2018
I gave my dog, Gidget, her first Cytopoint® Injection in October 2017. On December 18th, 2017, my 3-year-old miniature schnauzer [was diagnosed with [ ] full blown acute lymphosarcoma. [She] is not going to make it. [ ] She had a check up by the vet the day she received her 1st Cytopoint® injection in October and had no swollen lymph nodes then. [ ] She was a perfectly healthy three year old dog. She was spayed at 6 months of age, has received the necessary immunizations, along with her annual boosters needed and rabies every three years. She has been on a grain free diet. She lives in a clean environment, frequents community common areas for walks and bathroom use, no pesticides used in the home or exterior of the home, just an overall happy go lucky girl I love so much. She is a spoiled dog who lives indoors but is exercised daily and in the evenings. She had a physical exam by the vet in October. I had mentioned the bottoms of her feet were quite red and she had started licking them. He at first recommended Apoquel®, which I declined after asking some questions. He then recommended Cytopoint® and stated no issues, completely safe, many of his patients doing well on it. In December, 2017 my son found a lump under her jaw. He took her in for me while I was out of town and the veterinarian found all lymph nodes were swollen after which they did a biopsy. That day they also gave her another Cytopoint® injection because her licking thing had started again. I have attached the Antech pathology report. The vets stated her blood tests were normal. I have started her on CBD (cannabidiol) oil. She is still eating, drinking and still playful at times but the vets do not believe she will survive. (Gidget passed away on 1/22/18)
E.B., Dana Point, California
November 20, 2017
Our vet convinced [us] to switch from Apoquel® to Cytopoint® due to [its] reduced side effects. [Buster is an English bulldog] We [found] that Apoquel wasn’t as effective over an extended period of time [as it had been] and we were hesitant to increase the dosage, as with any medication, our dog’s health comes first. We discussed the list of benefits as well as side effects – gastrointestinal upset i.e. stomach or diarrhoea. Things have been going well on the Cytopoint® [two injections, a month apart so far] until a few weeks ago when our dog started developing Gastro upset in the mornings. As a young dog he had some G.I. issues and we were prescribed famotidine to deal with acid problems. However those problems subsided and we discontinued the famotidine. For years he has been fine. He is now 9 ½.  I belong to many Facebook bulldog related groups, and started seeing more people commenting on their bulldogs having gastrointestinal upsets as a result of Cytopoint®. We went for his booster injection yesterday and upon reading this in a forum last nigh a light bulb went on that possibly his Gastro upsets were a result of the Cytopoint® and not necessarily a result of a previous medical issue from years ago. I was looking into more info when I came across your page and felt compelled to let you know our experience.
G.C. Delta, BC Canada
October 25, 2017
My dog Grey is an 8-year-old neutered puggle. She was diagnosed with severe atopic dermatitis [skin allergies] when she was 9 month old. Her management over the years included weekly injections of allergy serum and corticosteroid tablets that were required almost every day. In 2014, the steroids were replaced with 16 mg of Apoquel® once a day. By 2015, the dose of Apoquel had to be doubled to twice a day. In June of 2017, our vet discontinued Apoquel® and began Cytopoint® (9 mg I believe) every 4 weeks. She remains itch-free for about 2-3 weeks after each injection and has had to resume taking Apoquel® for the remainder of the month. [On Cytopoint®, I notice more skin infections versus Apoquel® and they are more severe. In September, she developed a severe lower urinary tract infection (UTI). In October, she still had protein in her urine but the number of WBCs in her urine has decreased.] Don’t know if we will continue the monthly Cytopoint® injections now that [almost] daily use of Apoquel® is also required.
J.M.J., Arlington, VA
August 6, 2017
Hello Dr. Hines,
I have a 9 year old GSD, Dunbar, who has been itchy his whole life and for the last several years he has lived in a hood, since it steadily has increased. He is on Royal Canin Ultamino™ since he also seem to be an IBD dog although he’s never been scoped. I was hoping the diet would also help the itching but it did not have any effect at all. We used Apoquel® briefly but it really didn’t make more than a slight difference and I was worried about the potential side effects. I have used Omegas, baths, everything I could find that might help. (short of cortisone). He had the Cytopoint® injection about 2 weeks ago, and although it took him a full 48 hours to start seeing a difference, he is markedly better now. I actually left him home 2 days without his hood and without supervision. He did not create havoc anywhere on his body or paws! He still bites some but is very interruptible, whereas before he would not stop- frantically biting feet, flanks,back, belly etc. I realize this is still early but this is the best he has been in years. I can only hope it continues and remains effective with future injections. No side effects so far. Just wanted to let you know since. I do believe he has gained some weight since the start of the Cytopoint®, probably about 4 lbs at the most.. as I noticed his weight gain I have cut his food back a bit and he has taken about a pound off. He is now at 84.7 lbs. I would like to get him back to 83 lbs or so. I have not noticed a marked personality change, other than he is probably more playful at times- hard to be playful in an Elizabethan collar, and feeling itchy all the time! We have now had 4 injections, one was 4 weeks after the first, the next was out to 8-9 weeks due to some scheduling errors.. and we just got another on last Monday. The one we went too long on didn’t seem quite as effective, so I was worried that the effect was diminishing. So far the one he just got last Monday at the 4 week mark seems to be better. This last month he also popped up with some dry scabby circular lesions unlike I have seen before, under his armpit and in his groin, and he has been licking his anus more again. Topical treatment has resolved that and he has been better since Monday’s injection. We live in CT and the grass allergy levels have been up lately perhaps causing that. I am watching too, to see if the injections become less effective in time! As an aside, we have found that the vet needs to inject his allotted amount split into 2 places, or he finds it very painful..splitting it into 2 seems to have resolved that. Even when he gets more itchy and starts on his paws, or flanks, or scratching on the Cytopoint® he is interruptible whereas before, you literally had to move his head to get him to stop biting. There have been a occasional times since his injections, where he has irritated his paws by licking, and so I use NeoPredef/Tetracaine after cleaning the area, and then put his e-collar on to keep him away from it for several hours. Previously he would get his paws or flank raw all the time if he did not have his e-collar on. He literally lived in his e-collar prior to this.. I am also bathing him (only monthly, not as often as I would like) with DermAllay shampoo with ceramides, which seems to help a bit.. As far as seasonal, he has been itchy on some level most of the time.. from puppyhood, and it has simply increased with age. He actually at times is worse in winter, in spite of a humidifier and trying all sorts of humectants or baths for his skin..we have air conditioning with an air filter, and during summer, if he’s not outside a whole lot and is inside with the AC he seems better. A boring life though..So far I’d say I’m really pleased with his response.. it is the first thing that has had a beneficial effect on his itching, ever! Obviously it doesn’t stop the allergic reactions, which he still has but at least his itching is suppressed to the point he doesn’t make a complete mess of himself !
August 4, 2017
Sonia began receiving Cytopoint® instead of Apoquel®. Her general itching overall subsided but she is still rubbing her chin on the stairs( did that on Apoquel too) – not obsessively, occasionally, less than before but over-all it subsided. A couple of growths disappeared, one between her eyes. Other growths seem to have diminish in size. Her lymphocyte count came down to normal but her white blood cell count went up to 24,000. She developed a cough and her nasal keratonosis got worse. Her left eye appeared inflamed. My Vet put her on Baytril® for 10 days which cleared up the nose and eye. Cough is still there, slightly better, I’m giving her teaspoons of raw honey to try to sooth the cough. Her activity level got better and higher, she is at least 12 maybe 13 years old and though she’s still a chow hound I believe not as bad as before. Her mood seems better and more alert. Before she acted like she was always starving, now its just regular am/pm meals and some treats. Her weight remained the same on her first and second injection of Cytopoint®. I would say Cytopoint® is just as good at controlling the itch. The first injection I managed to extend her to seven weeks giving her Claritin® one day I felt her itching was rising. We are into the third week of her second injection. Yes I still give other medications.
Sonia had one spot on her chest before we switched from Apoquel to Cytopoint that I was concerned about, that spot spread to different areas of the chest and to her back. It starts out like chicken pox, erupts and develops itchy crusts and spread. If I don’t touch them, she doesn’t itch. If you touch the eruptions, she is itchy. I have bathed her about every week in a shampoo that my previous Derm Vet invented which has Sodium hypochlorite in it which she says is basically bleach besides some cerinamides and vitamin E. I scrub the crusty itchy spots and let the shampoo soak for 5-10 minutes. The back appears clear now but the chest is still erupting and she still has a cough which concerns me. She is allergic to staph and this looks like that. The last time she had a staph infection that did not clear up she had to be on Doxycycline and Niacinamide for 30 days. She was on Staph Lysate injections for the last four years every two weeks than three than four. She has had staph infections even on the Staph Lysate before. I think she will always need more than just Cytopoint®, like medicated baths and ear cleaning unless she lives in a bubble. Does she mind the injections? No. Right now she just gets the Cytopoint® and medicated baths, ear cleaning and Zymox™. I may have to restart staph lysate and she may need antibiotics again for the staph unless her immune system and the baths can kick this soon. I just switched her from Frontline® to Nexgard®, and she is on Heartgard®. We’ve tried fish oil on and off, but she gets an upset stomach on it. Let me close by saying I love Sonia and yet if anyone offered me another dog with skin issues I would run in the other direction. I never realized how bad, how much time and work and money this disease was going to take. If the Cytopoint® continues to work plus the medicated baths and ear cleaning, it’s a blessing compared to the Atopica® ( constant soupy ear infections while on Atopica®) nightmare and then Apoquel® which was much better but not perfect.
October 12, 2016
Several months ago we exchanged emails about Apoquel®, and you mentioned a new injectable product [CADI]. Well after 30 years I changed vets, actually didn’t change my original vet left and started his own practice  now we are back together again and he has the injectable. The cost is $57.00 per month but he said it may last as long as three months, so it wouldn’t necessary be needed monthly. I am now paying $30.00 per month for Apoquel®. So as soon as my present prescription runs out, we’re going to give it a try. The cost isn’t important, his health and the safety of the new drug is paramount.
Thanks, S.K. Cleveland, OH . Sent from my iPad
September 19, 2016
[According to the University College, Dublin] CADI is not [yet] available In Ireland.
D.S., Dublin, Ireland
September 16, 2016
You asked if CADI was on the market yet in Holland. Normally the first to have the product is the University Clinic in Utrecht. I checked with them [recently] and the answer was NO.
Regards, P.H. , Kaag, The Netherlands
July 15, 2016
I wanted to share with you my experience with Apoquel and CADI for my very allergic dog [Wally he is 6 years old neutered Labrador retriever]. My vet [recently] referred him to a veterinary dermatologist; one of the few who had a regular supply [of Apoquel at the time]. Apoquel had an immediate effect and the poor guy was comfortable for the first time. The few times we tried to back off Apoquel (25 mg 1 x/day) for a 100 lb dog, we instantly regretted it. He started itching himself raw, shedding, and smelling. After 2.5 years on Apoquel, Wally was diagnosed with stage-3 kidney disease.  The skin vet recommended taking him off the Apoquel and trying monthly CADI shots from Zoetis. The CADI shot worked amazingly and completely eliminated his itch and lasted for 5-7 weeks at a time. The first time we administered the shot, we noticed a small rash around his muzzle that eventually resolved. The second shot we feel caused a severe breakout around his muzzle and ear infections in both ears. Once the infections cleared, he was very comfortable and began to grow in a beautiful coat – the likes of which we hadn’t seen before. He was really comfortable and happy. We tried a third shot and right away he developed a severe urinary tract infection. I’m not certain if the [drugs] contributed to his kidney disease, but I do know that his quality of life without it would have been very poor. I was optimistic for the CADI shot, which worked also very well, but seemed to come with nuisance infections – though I’m uncertain if it would have been the same in a healthier dog. Between the two, the CADI gave the best relief, but was expensive and the nuisance infections involve the hassle and expense of vet visits and suffering for the pet. It also seemed that each successive dose of CADI resulted in a longer period of being itch-free, so it could be that over time dogs on CADI will need fewer and few shots. I hope this is all useful information for you. Wally had some complex problems and wasn’t the healthiest dog to start with, so who knows if other dogs would have the same experience on Apoquel or CADI.
For all his health problems, he was a wonderful dog, who really loved his people and we enjoyed a really nice 3 years with him, only wishing it was a bit longer. D.H. Ventura, California
April 23, 2016
My 10 year old lab mix has been suffering  from canine atopy  for about half her life. Initially, it was periodically; but now, constant and quite severe. She had been treated with antibiotics and fungal medication when flare-ups occur, but she is steady-state itchy and licks and scratches constantly.
We have not felt comfortable with what the dermatology vet  has been offering regarding immunosuppressive drugs – and have steadily refused them. We have always treated our dog holistically, with minimal vaccinations and meds, using a variety of supplements and homeopathics, and acupuncture. Nothing has helped [her] – even with 2-3 baths per week, washing her dog bed covers when she gets a bath, vacuuming every other day, putting on child tees t-shirts to keep her from licking the elephant skin on her armpits, short walks during pollen season, etc.  We are at a crossroads because we cannot continue to let this dog suffer. At our visit to Dr. ***** in December, he recommended the CADI shots – he is part of the study – since the Apoquel was unavailable at that time. I did some research (there isn’t much out there) and decided the immunotherapy shots were too new – the study just started last quarter of 2015. Apoquel® was recommended at our last visit to Dr.***** (last week) – the supply is now available, but with a questionable long-term supply outlook. We have not given the dog the Apoquel yet and with the information at your site, are even more wary of the effects on her immune system. We planned to start M**** off on the maintenance dose (~10 mg) after discussing the dosing recommended by the dermatologist with my regular vet (~10 mg 2 times per day for 2 weeks, then 10 mg/day – M*** is about 50 lbs) and noting your comment that relief is often achieved at lower doses.
Since it seems that the Apoquel® can have a broader negative effect on the immune system than the CADI shots (theoretically, I guess) my question is what is your advice about just starting out with the shots vs the Apoquel® ? Thanks.
April 20, 2016
We have a 6-year-old Doberman Pinscher who [was] itching and scratching to the point that her chin and feet [broke] out in puss-filled sores. We tried the different foods: duck, fat dog formula, etc. Nothing worked. We went to a vet who started her on Apoquel® and she  cleared up. We then went to a dermatologist who said that they are now using a shot called Canine mAb Immunotherapeutic [CADI] instead of the Apoquel®. She had the shot on April 6, 2016. She also had a shot called Bactrim [trimethoprim+sulfamethoxazole]. On April 7th she had two nosebleeds and we rushed her to the vet. They cleaned her up, said they didn’t know what had caused it and sent her home. That evening she had a huge nosebleed. On April 14th this perfectly spry and alert dog sneezed and dropped spread-eagle on the floor all four legs paralyzed. All the doctors say there is no connection between the drugs and what happened. She went to an emergency vet who wanted almost $9,000 to do an MRI and we would have to agree to surgery before he would run the tests. They did take x-rays and blood work – all was clear. We transported her back to our local vet and she is on a steroid regime. She is able to slightly move her legs but cannot stand. This is April 19th so its been six days since her collapse. She is very alert, eats and drinks well and recognizes us when we visit her. We still have no answers. If [you know of] anyone who has had these issues or knows anything about what has taken place please let us know. We are desperate for some answers. C. H. , Georgia
March 21, 2016
Just wanted to give you an update. Our dog, W*****, received two more CADI injections since we last communicated. It worked well for him with no noted side effects. His last CADI injection was at end of January. He has not receive another one since then. He has been on allergy drops based on serum allergy testing for almost 6 months and it seems to be helping. We decided to not give another injection and see if the allergy drops are working to ease his symptoms and it seems to be the case. I know you are not a big supporter of allergy testing and allergy shots or drops, but I do think it is worth trying as there are no other ways to reduce the allergic reactions. Thank you. A. W-M. Saint Petersburg, FL
December 30, 2015
Hi Dr. Hines,
I just wanted to share my experience with the new Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic (CADI) injection. Our Derm vet has been using the CADI in 26 of her patients. My dog is a 7-year-old Standard Poodle. It started having issues with itching and skin lesions about one year ago, Issues that have become more frequent. He is also on thyroid supplement for sub-clinical hypothyroidism and has some signs of IBD. Our vet thinks the IBD and allergy are somewhat related. It has mostly environmental allergies and was started on allergy drops in late Sept. We are continuing with the drops twice a day. He was on Apoquel for about 2.5 months and it worked really well. On Dec 3, he received his first injection of CADI. I have to say it works just as well as Apoquel and I hope that since it is more targeted and will have less unwanted side effects compared with Apoquel. The hope is for the allergy drops to help and he won’t need the CADI in the near future. But for now, I am very happy with CADI being available as I feel it is effective without any known side effects at this time. We are actually going back today for another injection, a bit early due to upcoming holiday. It is still working well since the first injection- almost 4 weeks. The dog weights 72 lbs and the cost for the injection was $172 (two 40 mg vials). His pet insurance covers it.
A.W-M. St. Petersberg, FL
September 30, 2015
Stopping Apoquel and moving to a monthly shot called Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic vaccine because of the supply demand problem of the Apoquel® still going on. My dog is new to Apoquel® for allergies he has been suffering from for years. He is on the Apoquel for another 30 days and we have been chosen to get the new monthly vaccine. I will try to update you on the shot when it releases. Our dermatologist just finished training for the new shot. No idea of cost yet either. Breed: Great Dane, DOB: Aug 10, 2008, Weight: 124 lbs. He has 18 Environmental allergies, zero food. Worse molds. Apoquel® here cost $2.50 per 16 Mg pill, and he takes 4 a day. $300 per month. They suggested that vaccine will be equivalent or slightly less. Although, he stated again it is just an estimate. They have not mentioned taking both. Switching from one to the other. I hope this regime is effective because I have been watching him suffer for too long. He is my best friend. 🙂 S.B., Virginia
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